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This week: Food for thought from BrainJuicer, core developments at Epistem and a look at Seeing Machines

 This week: Food for thought from BrainJuicer, core developments at Epistem and a look at Seeing Machines

 

The Small Cap Wrap team are taking a few weeks off for the Easter break and will be back on the 16th April. Happy Easter to all.

The inaugural Small Cap Awards, supported by the London Stock Exchange and ISDX, is taking place on 24 April 2013 at BAFTA, Piccadilly. For details please visit http://www.smallcapawards.com

Last week saw a decline in the FTSE 100 from 6,490 points to 6,397 points, and the AIM All Share too by 10 points to 735 points. The Budget dominated headlines in the UK, with highlights including budget cuts by 1 per cent in most government departments in each of the next two years and a cut in corporation tax to 21 per cent from 2015 onwards. The Budget also mentioned an extra £15bn investment in new road, rail and construction projects by 2020, starting with £3bn in 2015-16. Interesting in our world, stamp duty is to be axed on shares traded on growth markets like AIM and ISDX. The week ahead sees UK GDP final estimates, UK business investment, Financial Policy Committee statement on the banks and UK GfK consumer confidence.

APH Preliminary results, AMA Resource update, BJU Results to end December 2012, BGL Results from Edwards and Gryphon Drilling, CHH Preliminary results, CGNR £573,183 placing, CNS Final results, CYAN increases operations in India, DEMG Final results, EDL Upgraded JORC resource, EGS Final Results, EHP Interim results, ESG Directorate change, FBT partnership with EVS, FIP placing to raise £20m and new university agreements, GBG trading update, IVO Interim results, IOM pre close update, JDG Preliminary Results, LID FDA clears for sale LiDCOrapidv2, LBB Integrating Rizon, MAN Major contract awards update, NBPO operational update, ORCP Import Duty Exemption, PYM Strategic review, REM Field work commences, RENE to commence clinical trial in UK, SEE Half yearly report, SVR Final results, SPE final results, STI Strategic Alliance with Centerra, SUMM clinical trials of SMT C1100 to start H2 2013, THAL Supply contract in Ecuador, TRCS & SKHG Recommended cash offer, URA Loan agreement, VPHA Full year results

Alliance Pharma (LON:APH

Alliance Pharma, the speciality pharmaceutical company, announced results for the year ended 31 December 2012. The Company saw revenues decline to £44.9m (2011: £46m), though pre tax profits increased slightly to £10.8m (2011: £10.7m). Sales growth was impeded by the suspended production of ImmuCyst bladder cancer treatment by Sanofi Pasteur until late 2013 because of regulatory issues at its manufacturing facility, and the diminished contribution from Deltacortril which resulted from the launch of a second generic competitor and changing clinical preferences. The launch of new operations in France and Germany during the period was part a renewed growth strategy, with sales already commencing in France following the acquisition in August 2012 of the anti-malarial brands Paludrine(TM), Avloclor(TM)the Savarine(TM)from AstraZeneca. The Company also acquired Opus Group in October 2012 (which sells products for stoma care) which is expected to add around £2m to annual operating profit initially.

Amara Mining (LON:AMA

Amara Mining, the West African focused gold mining company, has announced a significant resource update for its 90 per cent owned Yaoure Gold Project in Côte d'Ivoire. The Mineral Resource update includes a 1.7m ounce Inferred Mineral Resource, with Indicated Mineral Resource upgraded to 0.3m ounces. The Company invested US$14m in exploration at the project in 2012 and this increase in Mineral Resources represents an average discovery cost of approximately US$8/oz. Further Mineral Resource update is expected in H2 2013 from an on-going in-fill drilling campaign. Initial metallurgical testwork has confirmed the non-refractory nature of the gold mineralisation with 94 per cent recovery in a conventional carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is expected to be completed in Q4 2013. 

BrainJuicer Group (LON:BJU)

BrainJuicer Group announced its Final Results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2012. Revenue of £20,822,000 (2011: £20,713,000) and gross profit of £16,068,000 (2011: £16,063,000) were reported. The Company made an operating profit of £513,000 (2011: £2,758,000), a profit before tax of £1,515,000 (2011: £2,760,000) and a profit after tax of £1,038,000 (2011: £1,850,000). The Company reported an earnings per share (fully diluted) of 7.9p (2011:14.1p) and proposed a final dividend of 2.25p (2011: 2.25p). BrainJuicer had cash of £3,755,000 (31 December 2011: £3,683,000) and no debt. Full year revenues were impacted by adverse trading in Q4. The overheads grew 9 per cent as the Company continued to invest for future growth, but at a slower rate and steps were taken to reduce cost growth further in 2013. Strong progress has been seen in the newer offices in China and Brazil and the Company has expanded geographic coverage further with new offices in India and France.

Bullabulling Gold Limited (LON:BGL

Bullabulling Gold Limited reported that assay results have been received for eight additional reverse circulation (RC) holes drilled at the Edwards and Gryphon prospects. The results provide further support for the potential amalgamation of the two proposed open pits to form a single larger pit of at least 1.2km in length. All eight holes intersected gold mineralisation, with seven producing intercepts above the 0.5g/t resource cut-off grade. Of particular note were holes BJ4588 and BJ4599 which were drilled in the corridor between Gryphon and Edwards and intersected 5 metres at 14.52g/t (including 1 metre at 68.6 g/t) and 9 metres at 1.89g/t respectively. Hole BJ4607, which was also drilled in the corridor between the two prospects, intersected low grade mineralisation (4 metres at 0.47g/t) at less than 40 metres below surface, suggesting that the prospective ultramafic contact is situated further to the south-west than expected and was intersected too high up dip, near the surface depletion zone. Also of significance was hole BJ4568 at Gryphon, which produced an intercept of 5 metres grading 3.47g/t, substantially bettering hole BJ4567 that was drilled up dip and returned 5 metres at 0.93g/t as reported in the first batch of results from the current program (see release of 6 March 2013). Drilling is continuing and additional assay results are expected to be available by early April. 

Churchill China (LON:CHH) 

Churchill China, a manufacturer and distributor of ceramic and related products announced preliminary results for the year to 31 December 2012 in which the Company saw pre tax profits increase by 15 per cent to £3.1m (2011: £2.7m) despite a fall in revenues to £41.4m (2011: £42.3m). The core hospitality business remains the market leader in the UK, and the retail part of the business has been somewhat revitalised, delivering an increased profit contribution. Ongoing product and marketing development has been important in helping this growth. In advance of the imposition of the EU anti-dumping duty surcharge, the Company has increased its stock levels, and also increased inventories of branded and non-ceramic product ranges in anticipation of increased demand. In the retail business, the shift in customer mix to higher quality sales in the middle market helped it to higher profits on lower sales and a new license with Belle and Boo (which adds to the names that the Company is working with, such as Cath Kidston, Jamie Oliver, Alex Clark, Julie Dodsworth and Dee Hardwicke) continues to help expand the product range. The Company is confident its strategies for both our Hospitality and Retail activities will deliver improved returns.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (LON:CGNR)* 

The gold exploration and development company focused on Ireland yesterday announced that it has conditionally raised £573,183 through a subscription at a price of 2.75 pence per share, a premium of 20.88 per cent over the closing mid-market price on 22 March 2013. As part of the Subscription, Professor Richard Conroy, Chairman of the Company, has subscribed for 5,454,545 shares. In addition, Mr Séamus FitzPatrick, Deputy Chairman of the Company, has subscribed for 3,109,818 shares. Furthermore Dr. Sorca Conroy, a non-executive director of the Company has subscribed for 1,012,728 shares. In addition, Pageant Holdings has subscribed for 5,454,545 Ordinary Shares in the Company. Furthermore, Mr Patrick O'Sullivan has subscribed for 3,636,364 shares. In addition, Mr James Jones, Director/Secretary of the Company, has subscribed for 175,000 shares. The Company intends to use the proceeds of the Subscription primarily to fund the Company's on-going programme at its Clontibret gold target where it proposes to develop a gold mine and to continue its exploration at its Clay Lake and Slieve Glah gold targets and for working capital generally. 

Corero (LON:CNS)

The AIM listed network security and business software provider today announced results for the year ended 31 December 2012 with revenues increased to $20.6m (2011:$18m) though pre tax losses widened to $6.3m (2011: $2.3m). Operational highlights for the Corero Network Security division include the successful launch of its "First Line of Defence" offering to leverage its leading distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) solution, the appointment of Ashley Stephenson as CEO of the division, 66 new customers and the ranking by Gartner as "a Visionary" in the IPS Magic Quadrant. The Corero Business Systems division continued to invest in software products, added 251 new academy and schools customers driving strong and profitable growth and was winner of the UK Business Software Industry Software Satisfaction Awards 2012 in the category of Accounting & Finance (corporate). The Company expects growth in both business divisions looking forwards.

Cyan Holdings (LON:CYAN

The integrated system and software design company delivering mesh based flexible wireless solutions for utility metering and lighting control announced that Shiv Kaushik has been appointed as Country Manager in India. Mr Kaushik, who has more than 18 years of experience with leading IT companies, joins Cyan to support its strategy to build key relationships in the energy and utility sector in India. Furthermore, Cyan has recruited two local senior field application engineers to provide additional customer and technical support in India. In addition to the recruitment of field based personnel, Cyan is also qualifying additional manufacturing facilities in the form of two India based Tier-1 Contract Equipment Manufacturers. Both manufacturers are global companies offering a comprehensive range of Original Equipment Manufacturer services and hold ISO 9001 and other regulatory certificates. Part of the qualification process is a pre-production build to verify quality and performance. These additional manufacturing facilities will work in parallel with the current production in China to meet volume demands going forward. 

Deltex Medical Group (LON:DEMG

The global leader in oesophageal Doppler monitoring (ODM) announced results for the year ended 31 December 2012. Sales across the Company increased by 7.5 per cent to £6.8m (2011: £6.3m), though the loss for the year widened to £2.1m (2011: £1.4m). Highlights during the period include an NHS implementation plan that was launched in December 2012, CardioQ-ODM being the only intra-operative fluid management monitor recommended by NICE, and the launch of CardioQ-ODM+, incorporating Pulse Pressure Waveform Analysis. With two distinct established clinical applications (the surgical market and critical care market), and implementation in countries which include the UK, USA, France, Scandinavia and Canada, and a process having been put in place to accelerate significantly the creation of a mass market for products specifically in the USA, the Company has started the year with confidence.

Edenville Energy (LON:EDL) 

Edenville Energy, the coal exploration and Development Company, has reported a significant resource upgrade from the Inferred category to Measured & Indicated on the Rukwa Coalfield project in South Western Tanzania mate, as prepared by Sound Mining Solutions Limited (SMS) of South Africa. According to the upgraded JORC estimate, of the 173m tonnes in-situ at Mkomolo, Namwele and Muze, a combined 57.5m tonnes is Measured and Indicated. Around 90 per cent of this resource tonnage lies within Mkomolo and Namwele; whilst Muze is still to be fully evaluated. An independent and commercial evaluation of Phase I mining at Namwele is expected to begin in April 2013.

eg solutions (LON:EGS

eg solutions, the back office optimisation software Company, announced final results for the year ended 31 January 2013, which saw revenues increase to £4.95m (2011: £4.71m), though it generated a loss this period of £448,000 (2011: profit £156,000). The revenue decline was partly due to the successful completion of pilot projects on behalf of new clients secured at the start of the year, which saw a number of delays to roll outs pending completion of the Aspect partnership, and therefore resulted in anticipated revenue from this now falling into the current year. The Company also announced a three year strategic partnership and re-seller agreement with Aspect Software Inc. in February.  Aspect Software is a global provider of customer contact and enterprise workforce optimisation solutions, which invested £1.25m into eg solutions and now has a 10.69 per cent shareholding, with the right to invest further in eg solutions through warrants for up to 400,000 shares over the next two years. John Anthony O'Connell, a high-profile London-based technology entrepreneur, who founded, floated and sold one of the leading software companies in the UK (Staffware Plc), was also announced as Non-Executive Chairman. The Company remains optimistic, and believes it will benefit during the first half of the year from the implementation of the delayed roll-outs. 

Epistem (LON:EHP

Epistem, the biotechnology and personalised medicine company, today announced its unaudited Interim Statement for the six months ended 31st December 2012. During the first half of the current financial year, Epistem continued to strengthen its business and financial position. Year-on-year revenue was £3.1m (£3.1m: 2011/12). Epistem announced a supply and distribution agreement with Becton Dickinson and increased investment in diagnostics (Genedrive®). First half growth was seen in the Personalised Medicine division and a steady performance from Preclinical Services was reported. A continued advance and investment in the Novel Therapies drug discovery programme was made. During the period, a cash placing raising £4.2m (net) contributed towards a strong cash position at the period end of £7.3m. Half year revenues for preclinical services were £1.3m, a little behind the Company’s own expectations, although the US bio defence programme is continuing to strengthen. The Diagnostics side of the Personalised Medicine division is growing strongly and will be the driver for the next 12-18 months for the Company. The Novel Therapies drug discovery division needs significant investment going forwards, and in this vein may look to partner. The Company has three very different divisions with different drivers which have until this point served it well. Most of the cash resource for the next twelve months at least will go behind the GeneDrive product.

eServ Global (LON:ESG

eServGlobal, the global telecoms software vendor specialising in mobile Money and Value-Added Services (VAS), has announced that it is reorganising its management structure. Paolo Montessori, the current COO, will take on the role of CEO and focus on the overall management and core business. Craig Halliday, the outgoing CEO, will focus on the strategic development of HomeSend and chair a newly-created Board committee focused exclusively on HomeSend and its role in the growing international remittances industry. These changes will be effective from 1 May 2013. The new structure recognises the opportunity that HomeSend represents and the role that Paolo has played as COO in building the business and positioning the Company as an industry-leading provider of mobile financial services. In addition, the Board intends to appoint Steve Blundell, CFO, to the Board as Finance Director on 1 May 2013.

Forbidden Technologies (LON:FBT

Forbidden Technologies, the AIM-quoted owner and developer of the market leading FORscene Cloud video platform, announced that it is partnering with EVS to promote Cloud sports and news workflows at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, Nevada from 8 - 11 April 2013. EVS is the leading provider of outside broadcast digital video production systems. Its products are tailored to excel and enrich live productions across all industries from sports, news, entertainment and media. The Proof of Concept solution will be displayed at NAB at the EVS booth. Forbidden Technologies develops and markets a powerful cloud video platform, FORscene, which is used by broadcasters, in professional web video, in education and by consumers. FORscene is one of the world's most advanced browser-based and mobile applications. 

Fusion IP (LON:FIP)* 

The university IP commercialisation company that turns world class research into business yesterday announced that it has conditionally raised £20m at a price of 55p per share to existing and new institutional shareholders. Fusion IP also announced that it has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with two additional universities - the University of Nottingham and Swansea University. The Directors believe that by expanding the Company's business model to new universities it will increase its access to additional world class IP and by raising additional funds it will ensure it has the financial strength to invest further in its key portfolio companies and to establish new companies out of its expanded pipeline. More specifically the Placing will provide Fusion IP with the funding to continue to invest in existing portfolio companies including Diurnal - the Company expects to allocate £1.7m to Diurnal as part of a further investment round to fund a Phase 3 trial for Chronocort, if the product is not licensed at the end of Phase 2; invest in new start-up companies created under the existing agreements with the Universities; invest in new portfolio companies that will be created from the new MOU agreements with its new university partners; negotiate and execute MOU agreements with additional universities; and for general working capital purposes. The new MOU agreements complement Fusion IP's existing equity-based university agreements by providing the Company with access to IP, but without having to make on-going or equity-based payments. The Directors believe this structure provides a flexible partnership for both parties, and enables the university to access Fusion IP's management and funds, while Fusion IP gains access to such university's IP without tying up equity or contractual service fees. It also enables Fusion IP to generate more start-up companies per annum and utilise its central overhead more effectively. The new MOU agreements allow for co-investment by IP Group, in line with the existing IP Group co-investment agreement. The Company had cash of approximately £4m at the end of January 2013 and does not expect any material changes to the value of its portfolio in the first six months of the year. 

GB Group (LON:GBG

The Board of GB Group, the identity management specialist, this morning reported that the Company has achieved a strong set of results, ahead of market consensus. For the year to 31 March 2013, the Group expects to show an adjusted operating profit of not less than £5.1m (2012: £3.7m). GB Group intends to provide a more detailed trading update on its results during the week commencing 14 April 2013 ahead of its annual results announcement which is expected to be issued during the week commencing 3 June 2013.

Imperial Innovations Group (LON:IVO

Imperial Innovations Group, the technology commercialisation and investment group, announced results for the six months ended 31 January 2013. The Company saw profits steady at £0.9m (2011: £0.9m), though perhaps more importantly, an increase in net assets to £227.6m (2012: £225m). £14.0m was invested in 15 portfolio companies during the period, and post period end a further £1.4m went into five companies. Cash and short term liquidity investments on the balance sheet stood at £63m at 31 January 2013 (H1 2012: £72.5m). Imperial’s top three portfolio companies saw a number of developments. Circassia, an allergy treatment developer, initiated international phase III trials for its cat allergy product, investigating 1,200 patients across North America and Europe. Nexeon, the battery materials and manufacturing business, signed a development agreement with a major consumer electronics and battery OEM and post period-end completed a strategic deal with WACKER Chemie AG to provide access to engineering expertise for the design and construction of a 250 tonne per annum plant and Veryan Medical, the medical devices business developing improved stent technologies received a CE mark for its lead BioMIMICS 3D Stent. Imperial believes its top companies are moving towards commercialisation and are developing considerable value.

Iomart Group (LON:IOM

iomart Group, the cloud computing company, today provided its pre-close trading statement for the year ending 31 March 2013 ahead of the announcement of its full year results. The Group expects to show an adjusted EBITDA of not less than £16.4m (FY2012: £11.2m) and adjusted profit before tax of approximately £10.6m (FY2012: £6.9m) both ahead of market consensus. A substantial number of contracts were won over the year as the Group continues to benefit from the growing adoption of cloud type services. The Group expects to report its full year results for the year ending 31 March 2013 on Wednesday 29 May 2013.

Judges Scientific (LON:JDG

Judges announced its results to the end of December 2012. It recorded a basic earnings per share, excluding exceptional items, of 81.3p (2011: 61.0p) to the end of December 2012; corresponding figures including exceptional items: 4.2p loss (2011: 45.2p profit). Judges has proposed a final dividend of 10.0p (2011: 6.7p), making a total distribution for the year of 15.0p (2011: 10.0p). It saw a 42 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to a record £5.6m (2011:£3.9m) before exceptional items, tax and non-controlling interests. Record revenues of £28.0m were made (2011:£20.8m), including a 7.5 per cent increase on a like-for-like basis. The Company had cash in hand of £5.4m as at 31 December 2012; and adjusted net debt of £1.8m (2011:£0.7m.) The Company completed two acquisitions in 2012 and did a £3.0m placing at 600p completed in May 2012, three times oversubscribed. The global economic background may well show some improvement in 2013. Trading conditions in Europe are lacklustre rather than dire, there are plausible grounds for anticipating some recovery in the US but the onus for significant growth still lies essentially with the developing nations. The New Year has started well for the Group and a solid order intake is buttressing the visibility afforded by the satisfactory year-end backlog. 

LiDCO Group (LON:LID)  

LiDCO Group, the cardiovascular monitoring company, this morning announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its new LiDCOrapidv2 monitor with Unity software and depth of anaesthesia display for sale in the US. The US is the world’s largest single market for fluid management and disposables use during high risk surgery with a market potential of approximately $650m per annum. This registration follows on from the registration and launch of the LiDCOrapidv2 in the EU in February of this year.  LiDCOrapidv2 sales have already been made in both the UK and the EU. The LiDCOrapidv2 with Unity software is the first monitor in the world to be designed specifically for multi-parameter monitoring of both depth of anaesthesia and fluids. Through parameter integration, LiDCO’s new monitor addresses a growing requirement for a multi-parameter display that reduces the number of single parameter monitors needed by the bedside. Additional parameters can easily be added to further increase the breadth of monitoring displayed on the LiDCOrapidv2. LiDCO expect its additional continuous non invasive blood pressure monitoring option to be registered for sale in the US later this year. The LiDCOrapidv2 with Unity software satisfies UK NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) recommendations for both the monitoring of fluids and depth of anaesthesia in high risk surgery patients. From April 2013 the NHS in England will be providing payment incentives aiming to significantly increase the numbers of surgery patients that are fluid monitored from approximately 40,000 to 80,000 patients per year. The Board estimates that this equates to an additional £2.8m of possible revenues.

LiteBulb Group (LON:LBB) 

LiteBulb, the provider of product solutions from identification through to retail distribution, has announced the appointment of key staff from branding agency Rizon, bringing with them all existing Rizon client relationships. LiteBulb is also rebranding Rizon through the launch of Rizon Studios, a creative agency with global reach, delivering brand extension programmes to the entertainment industry. Rizon Studios specialises in idea generation, whether creating a new brand from a clean sheet of paper or bringing fresh ideas to a long established brand at any point in its life cycle. The experience and ability of the Rizon Studios staff has enabled them to secure a list of recognised global clients including Disney, Mattel, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and ABC television. Rizon Studio's typically works with the head offices of their clients in the US, helping them solve the perennial problem of creating global appeal in local markets. 

Manroy (LON:MAN

Manroy, the weapons manufacturer, announced that it has received new contract orders totaling £8.7m from existing customers within Asia, Europe and the UK. Included as part of these contracts, is the award of a major order for £7.6m from an existing customer in Asia. In addition, this contract, which is subject to normal license approval, involves the placing of an intra-group order to Manroy USA for approximately £5.0m. The balance of the new contracts is made up from several smaller, but nonetheless significant export orders totaling £1.1m. Following the recent completion of its acquisition of Base (Manroy) Limited, key elements of these new orders are now capable of being manufactured in-house. These new contracts increase the Group's order book to approximately £19m, more than 70 per cent above the £11m announced on 4 February 2013. This compares with total revenue for the Group during the year ended 30 September 2012 of £7.4m. The Board anticipates that circa half of the Group's current order book will be delivered during the current financial year. 

New Britain Palm Oil Limited (LON:NBPO) 

New Britain Palm Oil Limited, one of the world's largest fully integrated producers of sustainable palm oil, announced an operational update. On 1 February 2013 the Company reported that heavy rainfall had been experienced throughout January at the Group's main production site of West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea. Further heavy rainfall in the Province has been experienced to date in March. By the end of the month some areas will have recorded in excess of 3,000 millimetres of rainfall for the year, well above average levels. Recent heavy rains have caused severe flooding in some areas as well as extensive damage to local access roads and several bridges, as has been reported by the local media. The Company's oil palm fruit production in March, and consequently in the first quarter of this year, has been negatively impacted by the heavy rainfall in West New Britain. Total fruit processed by the Group for the year to date is approximately 5 per cent below the level processed during the corresponding period in 2012, however it is too early to quantify the impact on overall Group production for the full year. It is also worth noting that production levels in the first quarter of this year versus last year will be impacted by this year's Easter public holidays falling in March rather than April. Oil extraction rates have also been negatively impacted by the heavy rains due to the higher water content of the fruit processed. Harvesting rounds have been extended in the worst affected areas to limit fruit loss, however it is expected that some fruit will be irretrievably lost in the field during this period.

Oracle Coalfields (LON:ORCP

Oracle Coalfields, the developer of the 1.4bn tonne Thar Coalfield project located in the Sindh Province in South-East Pakistan, has announced that the Government of Pakistan has confirmed that equipment and machinery imported for mining activities at Thar Coalfield will be totally exempt from customs duties and related taxes. These exemptions have already been factored in to Oracle’s financial planning and Implementation Plan, released in September 2012. The management believes that these concessions are further evidence that the Pakistan Government is industry- and investor-friendly and that it is keen to support the development of potentially world-class assets in the country.

Phytopharm (LON:PYM

Phytopharm announced an update on the on-going strategic review which was initiated following the announcement of headline results from its Phase II clinical trial of Cogane(TM) in Parkinson's disease. On 18 February, Phytopharm announced that analysis of the headline results from its Phase II clinical trial of Cogane(TM) in Parkinson's disease indicated that the drug had not demonstrated clinically meaningful efficacy. A full analysis of the complete dataset has now been completed which confirms the initial view that no efficacy was demonstrated in the primary or secondary endpoints measured in the study. As a result of these findings no further research and development expenditure will be committed and a staff reduction and cost saving programme has been initiated. After discussions with major shareholders the Board has initiated a review of the strategic options available to the Company which includes the review of a number of merger and acquisition opportunities. Exploratory discussions have been held with a number of parties and further updates will be made as appropriate. 

Rare Earth Minerals (LON:REM) 

Rare Earth Minerals announced that the Field Work programme has commenced on the El Sauz and Fleur lithium concessions that form part of the Sonora Lithium Project in northern Mexico. The Company will earn an initial interest of 10 per cent in the Concessions with an option to earn up to a 49.9 per cent interest in the Concessions from Bacanora Minerals Ltd as announced on 14 February 2013. The first phase of exploration, funded by the Company, consists of geological mapping and surface rock sampling at the El Sauz concession. The object of the current programme is to fully delineate the extent of lithium-bearing sediments and determine the lithium contents of exposed clay units. An estimated 230 samples will be collected; the programme is scheduled to be completed by end of March, with analytical results to follow in early April. The results will be used to plan an extensive diamond drilling programme, expected to commence in late April or early May, in conjunction with geological mapping and rock sampling at the adjacent Fleur concession. 

ReNeuron Group (LON:RENE

ReNeuron this morning announced that it has received regulatory and ethical approvals to commence a Phase I clinical trial in the UK with its ReN009 stem cell therapy programme targeting the major unmet medical need, critical limb ischaemia (CLI). CLI represents the second major disease target after stroke for ReNeuron’s lead CTX stem cell line and is based on a number of pre-clinical studies showing dose-dependent positive effects of the CTX cells in restoring microvasculature and blood flow to the limb extremities in animal models of lower limb ischaemia. The Company’s ReN009 therapy therefore offers the potential for an allogeneic (non-donor specific) and cost-effective cell-based treatment for CLI patients with the aim of restoring sufficient blood flow in the affected lower limb to avoid amputation and the severe health consequences that typically result from such an amputation. Subject to local R&D site approval, the Phase I clinical trial will be undertaken through NHS Tayside at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland. Approval may be sought in due course for a further clinical site in Germany to participate in the study. ReNeuron recently announced that it had been awarded a Late Stage Biomedical Catalyst grant of £0.4m from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Government’s innovation agency, to be deployed towards the cost of the approved ReN009 Phase I study. The Company expects recruitment and dosing of patients in the clinical trial to commence, as planned, in the middle part of this year. The straightforward nature of both the ReN009 treatment and the design of the Phase I clinical trial is expected to lead to progression into a larger placebo-controlled Phase II efficacy study during the second half of 2014, assuming the Phase I primary safety end-point is met. 

Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE

Seeing Machines announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 31 December 2012. Total revenue for the half year increased by 50 per cent to A$5,693,634 (December half 2011: A$3,794,960). This was driven by revenues from its DSS (in-cab fatigue monitoring) segment, which increased by 87 per cent to A$3,699,553 (December half 2011: A$1,981,396) with significant new business growth derived from North America, South America and Africa. The order backlog at 31 December 2012 was over A$3,000,000 helping to secure future revenues. As a result net loss decreased by 66 per cent to A$317,919 (December half 2011: loss of A$936,801). Cash increased to A$927,518 (30 June 2012: A$578,022) mainly as a result of the capital raise of A$1,962,664 completed in October 2012. Commenting on the results, Seeing Machines CEO, Ken Kroeger said: "…During the first half we have designed improved DSS technology that has successfully completed customer acceptance trials and will be brought to market in the first quarter of 2013-14. Given the mining sector's emerging focus on output and efficiency and the role that DSS plays in improving driver alertness and safety, we are seeing a growing sales pipeline and new strategic opportunities. This provides us with increased confidence in the company's performance for the full year and beyond." 

Service Power Technologies (LON:SVR

AIM listed market leader in field management announced final results for the 12 months to 31 December 2012. Whilst its revenues fell to £11.1m (2011:£13.3m), and the Company saw a loss during the period of £1.8m (2011: profit £1.1m), what is key is that the Company has cash and recurring revenue. Delays in customer purchasing decisions were the main driver behind this, though a number of contracts were awarded post year end which are significant to the Company. Product development during the period saw the additions of ServiceMarket (a web-based marketplace on which pre-approved servicers can 'bid' for service jobs) and ServiceBroker to the ServicePower portfolio (ServiceBroker allows clients to direct work between various channels of employed engineers), and a new US headquarters was set up to support US market opportunities and identify pipeline for new business. During the period, Service Power acquired Stratix Software, adding enhanced mobility capabilities to the Company’s growing portfolio, whilst a VP for strategy has been hired, all as part of the Company’s growth strategy. Having signed two contracts with Assurant and one of the world's leading providers of unified communications solutions, a growing portfolio of offerings and 90 per cent recurring revenue, the Company is confident of its prospects.

Sopheon (LON:SPE

The international provider of software and services that help organisations generate more revenues and profits from new products announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2012 together with an outlook for the current year. Revenue for the year was £12.7m (2011: £10.3m).  Full year revenue visibility for 2013 already stands at £6.4m, compared to £6.0m at the same time last year.  EBITDA for the year was £1.8m (2011: £1.5m), with 49 new and extension license orders secured during the year. New customers contributed over 50 per cent (2011: 21 per cent) of non-recurring sales during the year. The recurring revenue base coming into 2013 stands at £4.5m compared to £4.1m the year before. Agile development methodology results in three new product releases in the last twelve months, including the landmark release of Accolade 8.3 at the start of 2013.

Stratex International (LON:STI

Stratex, the gold exploration and Development Company focused on gold and base metals in Turkey, East Africa and West Africa has formed a strategic alliance with a subsidiary of Centerra Gold, the North American gold mining company, to explore for gold in a defined area in central Turkey. Centerra will fund the strategic alliance programme to explore for new gold projects in central Turkey, providing US$0.5m in year one with an option each year to fund further work for at least US$0.25m per annum. Centerra will also have option to earn to 51 per cent of any Designated Project Area (DPA) by funding US$1m for exploration and development within two years of Centerra's election. Stratex will have the right to maintain a 49 per cent interest by funding future exploration and development on pro rata basis. 

Summit Corporation (LON:SUMM)* 

Summit, a drug discovery and development company advancing therapies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and C.difficile infections, last week outlined its future plans for the continued development of utrophin modulators for the treatment of DMD.  Utrophin modulation is a disease modifying approach that has the potential to treat all genetic forms of DMD. Summit's programme includes the lead candidate SMT C1100 that is expected to enter clinical trials in patients during H2 2013, and earlier-stage next generation utrophin modulators that are being developed to add further value to the programme.  Summit is presenting its utrophin modulator programme at a major international conference being held later this Spring. The proposed proof of concept patient trial will include two components: a dose-finding study in DMD patients to confirm translation of safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics from an adult to a paediatric population, followed by a Phase 2 trial that will include clinical markers of muscle health as well as levels of utrophin expression and other novel biomarkers.  The biomarker programme has commenced and includes the collaboration with Children's National Medical Center of Washington DC, funded by the DMD organisation, The Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, which was announced by Summit in February 2013. Summit is now engaged with the regulatory authorities and expects the dose finding study to start in H2 2013. Summit has selected a specialist contractor capable of manufacturing and formulating GMP grade drug material for use in the long-term toxicology studies, the patient proof of concept trials, and ultimately any potential future registration trials and market use. The Company will present its utrophin modulation programme and biomarker development at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Scientific Conference, 21-24 April 2013, Washington DC, US. 

Thalassa Holdings (LON:THAL

Further to the Company's announcements on 18 January, 6 February and 27 February 2013, the Board of Thalassa announced that its subsidiary, WGP Energy Services Ltd, had entered into a further agreement with Sevmorgeo S.A. (SMG), the Russian geological sea survey company. This agreement is to supply node handling equipment and associated services as part of seismic data acquisition surveys being conducted by SMG in Ecuador. The contract will increase the total revenue to the Company relating to these surveys to approximately $6.7m. The work has commenced and these surveys in Ecuador are scheduled to last until 15 June 2013.  Final results for the year ended 31 December 2012 showed revenue up 477 per cent to US$ 14.0m (2011: US$ 2.4m), net profit up 238 per cent to US$ 1.2m (2011: US$ 0.4m) and cash as at 31 December 2012 up 25.9 per cent to US$ 2.5m (2011: US$ 2.0m). 

Tracsis (LON:TRCS) & Sky High (LON:SKHG)

The boards of Sky High and Tracsis have agreed the terms of a recommended cash offer to be made by Tracsis for the entire issued ordinary share capital of Sky High, excluding the Management Roll Over Shares and the Prowse Trust Shares, at 15.25p per Sky High share. The Offer values Sky High at approximately £3.28m. The Offer represents a premium of approximately 69.44 per cent to the Closing Price per Offer Share of 9p on 25 March 2013 (being the last Business Day prior to the date of the Announcement). The Offer is conditional, amongst other things, on: valid acceptances being received in respect of not less than 90 per cent of the Offer Shares (or such lower percentage as Tracsis may decide); and the Independent Shareholders passing the Ordinary Resolution to approve the Management Arrangements at the Sky High General Meeting. The Independent Directors, consider the terms of the Offer to be fair and reasonable and unanimously recommend that all Sky High Shareholders; accept the Offer; and all Independent Shareholders vote in favour of the Ordinary Resolution to approve the Management Arrangements. Commenting on the Offer, John McArthur, CEO of Tracsis said: "We believe that this acquisition, whilst being immediately earnings enhancing, will also drive growth for the combined Group and in turn provide further value to our shareholders." 

Uranium Resources (LON:URA

Uranium Resources, the uranium exploration and Development Company, has entered into a US$1m loan facility agreement with its major shareholder and strategic investor Estes Ltd. The unsecured loan, which is available for 18 months and bears interest at LIBOR, will be used to fund working capital requirements. Pending publication of its maiden resource at the flagship Mtonya uranium project in southern Tanzania, the loan provides non-dilutive financing while the Company awaits these results. Initially, the Company intends to draw down up to $200,000. 

VPhase (LON: VPHA) 

VPhase, the developer of voltage optimisation products for residential and commercial properties, has announced that in the year ending December 2012 revenue increased by 213 per cent to £1.4m thanks to increasing activity in the Social Housing market and overseas agreements. The loss before tax improved by £0.3m to £1.7m. However, the start to 2013 has been slower than expected and the impact on full year sales target and cash will not be clear until the middle of the year. However, the order book is improving steadily with Registered Social Landlords as well as new overseas distributors.

*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP

 

 

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