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This week: Straight shooting, Fitbug ups the tempo, Wolf of Hemerdon advances

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AEG re contract,AVO Board appointment,AVCT Board appointment,CAP concept development agreement,Coms announces further business wins,EKT trading update,EIT contract win,FITB good reception at CES and £1m loan,IKA grant funding,LSIC trading update,LTG trading update,LBB trading update,PHD completion of acquisition,STT trading statement and contract awards,WTL  trading update,WLFE commences construction 

Active Energy Group (LON:AEG)

Active Energy Group, the pan-European supplier of high-quality wood chip and associated timber products for MDF manufacturing and green energy Biomass power generation, announced that on 7 February 2014 it concluded two important commercial developments for the Group. First, the Group has won another new contract to supply Kastamonu Entegre A.S. Under the contract AEG has agreed to supply approximately 87,000 metric tonnes of high grade MDF-quality wood chip during 2014, which is expected to generate additional revenues of approximately US$9m. Last month, the Company announced that it had secured similar contracts with two other leading Turkish MDF manufacturers. Therefore, in the first six weeks of 2014, AEG has secured new contracts to supply approximately 315,000 metric tonnes of wood chip for MDF manufacturing, which is expected to generate approximately US$33m in FY2014. They also announced a new full-service logistics agreement with TIS, owners of Yuzhny Port, the second largest port in Ukraine (which handled over 20m tonnes of cargo shipments in 2013) will enable the Group to consolidate all of its MDF-quality wood chip production and shipping operations into a single dockside facility at Yuzhny Port, near Odessa on the Black Sea coast. 

Advanced Oncotherapy (LON:AVO)

Advanced Oncotherapy, the developer of innovative medical technology for cancer treatment, announced the appointment of Dr Hanne M Kooy to its Medical Advisory Board and as Chair the new Product Development Committee to oversee the development of the Company’s LIGHT technology. Dr Kooy trained as a physicist, specialising in high energy particle physics, and since 1995 has been Associate Professor in Radiation Therapy at the Department of Radiation Oncology of Harvard Medical School.

Avacta Group (LON:AVCT)

Avacta Group, the global provider of proprietary diagnostic tools, consumables and reagents for human and animal healthcare, announced that Michael Albin, Ph.D., has today joined the Board of Avacta as a Non-Executive Director. Following a Ph.D. in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University and postdoctoral research in biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Michael worked at SYVA diagnostics followed by fifteen years at Applied Biosystems Inc rising to the role of VP of Science and Technology, and then VP of Strategic Technologies of the parent company Applera Corp, an S&P 500 company.

Clean Air Power (LON:CAP)

Clean Air Power, the developer of Dual-Fuel engine management software for heavy duty vehicles, announced that it has entered into a funded concept development agreement with a global truck manufacturer to develop a Dual-Fuel engine for a South East Asian market. This is the first program to be awarded through the cooperation agreement with Ricardo, Inc, signed in September 2013. The purpose of the development program is to utilise Clean Air Power's Dual-Fuel(TM) combustion technology to deliver an advanced dual-fuel engine that not only achieves its emissions objective but also reduces the extent of emissions after-treatment required by the base diesel engine. Subject to a successful concept phase, expected to last 6 months, the agreement will then enter a second stage to bring the advanced dual-fuel engine to start of production. 

Coms (LON:COMS)

Coms, the end-to-end provider of telecommunications and IT services to business and industry, announced it has secured a number of new contracts in addition to those announced in January.  The latest contracts awarded include, installing structured cabling for a new office development which is part of the ongoing works at Kings Cross. This contract is worth £280,000.

A leading energy company has renewed a support contract worth £165,000 that will see Redstone support their intelligent infrastructure through until March 2015.  A project worth in excess of £120,000 to Coms Media working with a leading TV production house working specifically on graphics and enhancing the viewing experience.  Four individual contracts have been awarded to the company with one of the world's leading broadcasters worth in excess of £50,000.  Each project carries different creative marketing requirements and are differing in lengths of project delivery. Furthermore, the content is extremely topical and will be seen on screens by many TV viewers across the world in the coming months.  

Elektron Technology (LON:EKT

Elektron Technology, the global technology group, has provided an update on performance for the full year to January 2014. Following a very challenging period as a result of factory relocations, operations have stabilised and, as expected, the sales backlog had reduced to normal levels by year end. Elektron has implemented selective price increases and a reduction in operating expenses.  In the second half of the year sales from continuing operations were £24m (2013:£23m) and underlying trading performance has shown a welcome improvement.

Enables IT (LON:EIT)

Enables IT, a leading provider of cloud computing, managed and professional services, announced that it has won a five-year contract worth in excess of £500,000 to provide a wide range of IT, cloud and support services to London legal firm, Hunters Solicitors.  This five-year contract has been established in order to renew Hunters' IT infrastructure and to provide a resilient network and the security for its data. A fully managed private cloud infrastructure will be established and proactively maintained by Enables IT in order to provide the most agile and advanced systems available, whilst simultaneously offering the flexibility and cost saving benefits of outsourced IT management.  The contract has an upfront payment of approximately £200,000 for project and product development and a subsequent £300,000 payable over the remaining five years of the contract. The hardware and infrastructure components of this project will be delivered by the end of April 2014. Thereafter, Enables IT will provide ongoing support and managed services to Hunters' IT team and end users.

Fitbug Holdings (LON:FITB)*

Fitbug Holdings, the provider of online personal health and well-being services, announced that its Fitbug KiK coaching plans have received a very strong market response following its official launch at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas in January 2014.  Wearable devices, or “wearables” were widely recognised as the fastest growing product category at CES 2014, with the Financial Times reporting that “Wearables emerge as top CES trend” on 6 January 2014.  In line with this, Fitbug announced the “next step” in the digital health ecosystem, unveiling KiKplanTM, an advanced personalised coaching aid designed to work with activity trackers to meet specific health, weight and fitness goals. In response to the very strong retail interest in wearables at CES, Fitbug is now putting retail distribution arrangements in place in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia. To support planned growth in 2014 the Company has signed a £1m loan agreement with NW1 Investments Limited.  The Loan is repayable by 31 July 2014 and will accrue interest at a rate of 5 per cent per annum, payable on a quarterly basis.  

Ilika (LON:IKA

Ilika, the advanced materials discovery Company, has announced that it is the lead partner in a project that has received an offer of grant funding through the Technology Strategy Board under the Aerospace Industrial Strategy: Advancing Technology Capability competition. Ilika will receive £0.875m of the £1.326m grant for this three year programme. The company will work together with the University of Cambridge, Diamond Light Source and Rolls Royce to develop new alloy compositions for gas turbine engines with better thermo efficiency than current alloys, therefore increasing performance, reducing CO2 emissions and reducing noise levels at take-off.

Learning Technologies Group (LON:LTG)

Learning Technologies Group, the e-learning business, gave a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2013. The period under review incorporates the transaction with In-Deed Online plc and the Group's successful Admission to AIM on 8 November 2013. The Company has traded well during the year with total revenues of £7.7m, significantly ahead of the previous year (£6.9m). Net profit margins also improved substantially. The Group continues to be managed prudently and net cash at the year-end was £1.2m, comfortably ahead of budget. Looking forward, the Group's order book has continued to strengthen. The total order book is £4.4m (January 2013, £3.5m) with record order books in each of the Group's three geographies. Although very early in the financial year the Board is confident of significant further profitable progress across the business in 2014. 

LifeLine Scientific (LON:LSIC)

Lifeline Scientific, the transplantation technology Company, gave a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2013. Lifeline had a strong second half of the year, which saw continued international growth including significant orders from Brazil and China for its flagship LifePort® Kidney Transporter and related portfolio of products. As a result the Company expects to report full year revenues ahead of market expectations with total revenues for the period up nearly 10 per cent to US$33.2m (2012:US$30.2m). Operating profit improved significantly from the US$0.1m recorded last year. Operating Profit, adjusted for non-recurring items, will be well ahead of market expectations. The cash position of the Company remains strong, with cash balances as at 31 December 2013 in line with levels recorded at the Interim Results (30 June 2013: US$3.0m). The Company will announce results for the year ended 31 December 2013 on 29 April 2014.

LiteBulb (LON:LBB

LiteBulb, the brand and product innovation Company, has provided a trading update for the year to December 2013. LiteBulb made three acquisitions in 2013 and all delivered sales ahead of internal expectations. This has helped LiteBulb to grow revenues for 2013 to £8m (FY2012: £3m), a 167 per cent improvement over 2012. The loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2013 is expected to be approximately £0.6m, a significant improvement on £1.4m in the year ended 31 December 2012.

PROACTIS Holdings (LON:PHD

PROACTIS Holdings, the specialist Spend Control software provider, has reported that it has completed the acquisition of EGS Group Ltd. following the announcement dated 14 January 2014. The management believes that this acquisition is an excellent strategic fit, and will benefit profitability through significant operational synergies. In addition, the acquisition adds 70 clients and substantial scale to the group and means that the company is now the largest independent eProcurement solution provider to the UK Public Sector.

Straight (LON:STT)

Straight, the environmental products and services group and a supplier of specialist waste and recycling container solutions, provided an update on trading ahead of its preliminary results to be announced on 31 March 2014.

The Group reported that revenue is in line with market expectations. Group EBITDA is also anticipated to be in line with market expectations and has held up well in the second half of the year.  In addition, the Group to reported that 2014 has begun well with the award of two major contracts totalling more than £2m revenue. Both of the contracts have been won under the ESPO framework agreement which was announced 13 January 2014. Further significant contracts are under negotiation and the order book is building well and in line with internal forecasts.  In addition to these two major contract wins, the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) has renewed three framework agreements for a further 12 months, covering recycling containers, compostable liners and steel bins.

Waterlogic (LON:WTL)

Waterlogic, the manufacturer and global distributor of point-of-use (POU) drinking water purification and dispensing systems, announced a trading update for the period up to 31 December 2013 prior to entering a close period. The Company expects revenues to be approximately US$124m (2012:US$101m) for the full year and adjusted EBITDA in line with market expectations and organic revenue growth expected to be in the region of 4.2 per cent (3.5 per cent at constant currency). This is coupled with increased recurring rental and service income, which now represents over 40 per cent of revenue on an annualised basis. The Consumer Division had new product launches in Japan, Turkey and Italy, with revenue increasing to approximately US$1.3m in 2013 and open orders of approximately US$0.8m. The Cool Clear Water Group Limited acquisition, which establishes Waterlogic as a significant provider on POU systems in the Australian Market, has progressed well and performed in line with the Board's expectations. 

Wolf Minerals (LON:WLFE)

Wolf Minerals, the specialty metals development Company, announced that it has authorised the EPC contractor, GR Engineering Services Limited (ASX: GNG/GRES), to commence construction of its Hemerdon tungsten and tin project in the southwest of England.  This represents another key milestone in the development of the Hemerdon project, and sets the project on a timeline for construction, commissioning and first production, which is scheduled for mid-2015.  GRES was awarded the fixed price (£75m), fixed term EPC contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the 3m tonnes per annum tungsten and tin mineral processing plant plus associated infrastructure in June 2013 (see AIM announcement 12 June 2013). The contract term is for 24 months. 

*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP

A full archive of previous weeks’ Small Cap Wraps can now be viewed on www.hybridan.com.

The Hybridan Small Cap Wrap is a weekly review of some of the most interesting small cap stories of the past week. Our review will usually be of those companies whose market capitalisations are less than £50m although we may occasionally cover larger companies. 

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