21 February 2012
This week: TRK on track, a new dimension for NetDimensions and ITM powers into Scotland.
Though there were volatilities in the week, the FTSE 100 closed where it opened at 5,902 points, whilst the AIM All Share rose 10 points to 811 points. News during the week has been mixed, with another bailout deal being agreed for Greece, UK retail sales rising by 0.9 per cent in January (December sales rose by 0.6 per cent), and UK unemployment announced to have risen by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to December. The week ahead sees European Commission interim economic forecasts and UK public finances data being published.
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Disclaimer- This document, which does not constitute research, has been issued by Hybridan LLP for information purposes only- please refer to the disclaimer in full below.
AYM Forward and Innu agreements, ANCR Interim Results, ATC option agreement, BAO Tenge/Ruoni Drilling Update, CFC Update on sale of Fuss Feed, CML Trading Update, CNS Fundraise, CYAN Strategic Partnership Agreement, DTC Acquisition of Indonesian IT security and networking distributor, GHH Profits Warning, ITM agreement with Logan Energy, MIRL Fundraise, NETD Launch of Talent Suite, NTOG Bale Creek Spud, OMP acquisition, PGH Dividend Announcement, RMM Acquires 17 per cent stake in Maritime Resources, RGM Mambare Results, SER California Proved Reserves Report, SYM UAE Approval, SYNC partnership, TND trading update, TAN New JV, TRK Interim Management Statement, TGL Exploration Update, TRI Interim Statement, TPJ Newcrest’s Report and WAS first Kalina Cycle® EcoGen unit.
Anglesey Mining (LON: AYM 27.75p/£43.89m)
Iron ore miner Anglesey announced that Labrador Iron Mines (LIM), in which it has a 33 per cent interest, has entered into an agreement to sell all of its 2012 iron production. The agreement has been signed with the Iron Ore Company of Canada and follows an agreement with the company in 2011 which saw 412,000 (wet) tonnes of iron ore shipped to China and sold on the Chinese spot market. Additionally, LIM announced that it has entered into a ‘Impact Benefits Agreement’ with the local peoples, the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam of Sept-Iles, Quebec (ITUM), with regard to Labrador’s Schefferville Area direct shipping iron ore mining projects- specifically, this is a life-of-mine agreement in which LIM has received consent for its iron ore projects whilst Uashaunnuat receives equitable participation in the projects through employment, training, contract opportunities and environmental protection measures.
Animalcare Group (LON: ANCR 159p/£32.61m)
The supplier of pharmaceutical and other products and services to the veterinary industry has reported a 10 per cent year-on-year decline in its revenues in the six months to December 2011. The decline reflects temporary supply disruptions in its Buprecare analgesics business and reduced demand for companion animal identification microchips and relative services. Despite the 18 per cent drop in operating profits, cash generation was sufficiently strong to encourage the Board to increase its interim dividend by 50 per cent to 1.5p. While reduced consumer demand will continue to impact second half trading, the management is confident that its growing portfolio of licensed veterinary medicines will continue to take market share.
Atlantic Coal (LON: ATC 0.38p/£14.51m)
Atlantic Coal, an open cast coal production and processing company confirmed this week that it has entered into an option agreement to acquire anthracite mining assets in Pennsylvania. The exercise price of US$35m would constitute a reverse takeover for the Company and would be subject to shareholder approval. Earlier in the year, the Company provided a production update in which it announced that during 2011 it mined 208,730 tons of run-of-mine, considerably less that its 300,000 ton target- the recent update demonstrates considerable resolve in seeking to grow that number substantially.
Baobab Resources (LON: BAO 13.25p/£25.19m)
The iron ore, base and precious metals explorer in Mozambique has provided an update on its activities at the Massamba Group iron / vanadium / titanium project where resource inventories currently total 324m tonnes (JORC Inferred). The consultant, Coffey Mining, is on schedule to complete the Tenge resource estimate by March 2012 which has the potential to add substantially to the current resource estimate. The completed Tenge resource drilling programme has defined broad packages of mineralisation. Analytical results from eight reverse circulation (RC) drill holes have been returned with a further fifteen drill holes currently undergoing analysis. These results to date correlate particularly well with the Ruoni North resource block and are entirely in line with the Company’s expectations. IFC (International Finance Corporation) hold a 15 per cent participatory interest in the project with Baobab owning the remaining 85 per cent. The Company announced on 6 February that the IFC has supported the 2012 pre-feasibility study (PFS) through a pro-rata contribution of approximately US$1.9m.
China Food Company (LON: CFC 31.5p/£22.51m)
Leading Chinese manufacturer of cooking and dipping sauces provided an update on the proposed disposal of Fuss Feed, the Company’s animal feed business. On 14 February 2012 the Company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an international animal feed provider to sell 100 per cent of Fuss Feed. As previously stated, the animal feed business is not core to the Company’s strategy going forward and the Board believes that the Disposal will reaffirm its objective to become a leader in condiments in Northern China. EBITDA for the Fuss Feed business was approximately £1.5m for 2010. The Disposal will improve the Company’s gearing and also provide additional working capital for China Food’s core condiments business. Pursuant to the MOU, CFC has granted the interested party a period of exclusivity to commence the due diligence process with the intention of entering into a definitive sales and purchase agreement in April 2012. The consideration will be satisfied in cash and the Board will update the market as appropriate. The Company intends to issue a pre-close trading update by the middle of March 2012.
CML Microsystems (LON: CML 258.5p/£38.64m)
The designer and manufacturer of semiconductors, primarily for global communication and data storage markets, has issued a trading update for the period from 1 October 2011 to 20 February 2012. In this period, the Company’s operating results are ahead both to the same period in the prior year and earlier internal expectations. Total revenues are in line with historic trends which traditionally see a slightly weaker second half to the full financial year. Shipments of semiconductors into industrial and professional wireless applications continued to be firm. In the period, a number of new products were released that are expected to both consolidate the Company’s existing market position and also begin to drive adoption across wider markets. Management is particularly encouraged by the revenue gains in flash memory controller chips for use within industrial solid state storage devices and embedded computing platforms.
Corero Network Security (LON: CNS 46.5p/£22.19m)
Corero Network Security, a network security and business software provider, has conditionally placed up to 10.62m new shares to certain institutional and other investors at 43p per share, to raise £4.56m, which was over-subscribed. Net proceeds of the placing will be used to accelerate the growth plans of the Company and also invest in the network security division’s product development team.
Cyan Holdings (LON: CYAN 0.44p/£7.23m)
Cyan Holdings, the integrated system design company delivering wireless solutions for lighting control and utility metering has formed a strategic partnership with Larsen & Toubro to collaborate in the development, supply and delivery of Advanced Metering solutions comprising utility meters equipped with Cyan’s wireless communication capability for AMI, Smart Metering and Smart Grid Pilot projects. The alliance with L&T is in line with Cyan’s strategy of building strategic partnerships with key established players in India.
Datatec (LON: DTC 356.5p/£664.94m)
Westcon, a subsidiary of Datatec, a global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) group, has agreed to acquire the business of PT Netpoleon, an Indonesian value added distributor of IT security, networking and convergence solutions and provider of managed and training services. This acquisition builds on Westcon’s presence in Southeast Asia and gives Westcon its first significant presence in Indonesia, a large and fast growing market in the region. Prior to the acquisition, Netpoleon operated as a franchisee of Westcon in Singapore. The consideration has not been disclosed and will be settled with US$1m worth of Datatec shares and the rest in cash.
Gooch & Housego (LON: GHH 463.5p/£101.28m)
Gooch & Housego, the specialist manufacturer of optical components and systems, today announces that trading conditions have been more challenging than expected in its Industrial Laser market sector during the first four months of the financial year and that, as a result, profits for the year ending 30 September 2012 are likely to be significantly below the Board’s original expectations. Management action is being taken to reduce overall costs where possible and further efficiencies are planned as they continue to consolidate and integrate the acquisitions made last year in the continuing programme to diversify the source of revenues in order to bring about a better balance to the business.
ITM Power (LON: ITM 45.75p/£50.64m)
The energy storage and clean fuel company has entered into an agreement with Logan Energy Limited for project development and tendering in Scotland. The Cooperation Agreement will see the 2 companies work together to tender for energy storage and clean fuel projects in the region. ITM’s key offering here is its electrolysis plant which will link electricity generated from renewable energy sources to the gas grid and the transport fuel infrastructure, whilst Logan will undertake all project management and after sales support for any plant installed under the agreement. A concerted effort by the Company and one that we look forward to seeing evolve.
Minera IRL (LON: MIRL 68.12p/£81.47m)
Minera IRL, the Latin American focused gold mining, development and exploration company, announced that it has filed and obtained a receipt for a preliminary short form prospectus in connection with a best efforts offering of ordinary shares of the Company for gross proceeds of up to C$30m. The Shares will be offered on a private placement basis in the United Kingdom and the United States. The net proceeds of the Offering will be used to advance the Company’s Ollachea and Don Nicholas projects in Peru and Argentina, to assist the Company in funding exploration programs on its portfolio of properties and for working capital and general corporate purposes. The Company also announced that it has commenced the exploration drive at the Ollachea Gold Project in Peru and gave an update on other aspects of the feasibility study.
NetDimensions (LON: NETD 25.75p/£6.40M)
NetDimensions, a provider of talent management systems (TMS), has announced the launch of NetDimensions’ Talent Suite, which is a TMS for companies looking for productivity and efficiency improvements, cost reduction, risk management, and cultural & process innovation. The NetDimensions Talent Suite relies on NetDimensions’ fully integrated, organically developed software platform that has been powering the company’s award-winning, multi-language Learning Management System. The suite is available as both secure SaaS (Software as a Service) and on-premise deployment options.
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (LON: NTOG 0.42p/£8.09m)
Nostra Terra, the oil and gas producer with projects in the USA, is announced drilling has begun on its initial vertical pilot well in the Bale Creek prospect, located in Oklahoma. Nostra Terra has a 30 per cent working interest in the Bale Creek prospect. Following the completion of the seismic interpretation, final selection of the drill sites was made, and site work began. The vertical pilot hole will be drilled and logged to determine the most promising of all the potential productive zones. Drilling of the well is expected to be completed in approximately 30-days, depending on logging and possible formation tests.
One Media Publishing Group (LON: OMPP.PL 3p/£1.30m)*
PLUS quoted consolidators and acquirers of music and video rights announced that it has acquired the rights under a long license to the Fearless TV Music show of video content. Originally broadcast on TV in the USA the content includes all 60 shows with over 420 performances performed by over 150 artists. The deal was concluded together with the acquisition of other audio rights featuring over 350 modern jazz titles. The deal was concluded for a consideration of $15,000 plus an ongoing royalty on future sales.
Personal Group (LON: PGH 279.75p/£84.11m)
The directors of the Personal Group a leading provider of tailored employee benefits programmes to businesses throughout the UK, announced that the first dividend for 2012 of 4.45p per share (2011: 4.35p per share) will be paid on 23 March 2012 to members on the register on 2 March 2012. Shares will be marked ex-dividend on 29 February 2012. If business continues as anticipated the Company expects to pay dividends of the same amount in June, September and December 2012, which would represent an increase of 2.3 per cent over the 2011 dividend level. The Company intends to announce its results for the year ended 31 December 2011 on Monday 26 March 2012.
Rambler Metals and Mining (LON: RMM 31.5p/£39.32m)
Rambler Metals and Mining, a copper and gold producer in Canada, has acquired 4.5m shares in Maritime Resources Corp. (TSXV: MAE), equivalent to a 17 per cent stake. In return, Maritime has invited Rambler to appoint its own representative to join Maritime’s Board. The shares are being purchased from Commander Resources Ltd. (TSXV: CMD) in a private transaction priced at CAD$0.23 per share. Rambler has nominated Peter Mercer, Vice President of Corporate Development, to join the Board of Maritime. Maritime is a new junior exploration company, with primary assets being the Hamerdown gold mine, the Orion gold deposit and the Lochinvar (various metals) deposit, all located in the Green Bay area of Newfoundland.
Regency Mines (LON: RGM 2.32p/£14.88m)
Regency Mines, the mining exploration and mineral investment company with interests in nickel and other minerals in Western Australia, Queensland, and Papua New Guinea announced continued positive assay results from recent drilling at the Mambare Nickel Laterite Project in Papua New Guinea. Highlights of the assay results were good thicknesses and grades from all three areas. These results were derived from 247 samples from thirteen drill holes, with nine of these drill holes including assayed intervals with Nickel grades above 1 per cent, and ten with assayed intervals over 0.70 per cent Nickel. Of the 247 samples tested, 140 were above 0.7 per cent Nickel, including 66 above 1 per cent Nickel. The weighted average grade for all samples is 0.80 per cent Nickel.
Sefton Resources (LON: SER 2.65p/£10.54m)
The independent oil and gas exploitation and production Company with interests in California and Kansas, announced an update on reserves for the Tapia and Eureka Canyon Fields in California. California oil assets were valued at $137.8m as at 31 December 2011 on a constant costs/price, PV10 basis were slightly higher than the mid-year valuation, despite a reduced oil price. Proved reserves total 3.7m barrels of oil in California as at 31 December 2011 and remain largely unchanged from the mid-year stage. The quality of reserves is improving as the recent work at Tapia has allowed Proved Undeveloped (PUND) reserves to move up into the Proved Developed Non-Producing (PDNP) and Proved Developed Producing (PDP) category of reserves. Jim Ellerton, Executive Chairman, commented today: “Looking forward, we will soon provide a further update on our activities at Tapia including the three new wells drilled in December 2011 and in due course the findings of Dr Ali’s report. We also intend updating shareholders on operations in Kansas with a Competent Persons Report to be published before the end of the first quarter 2012.”
Symphony Environmental Technologies (LON: SYM 8.38p/£10.71m)
Symphony Environmental Technologies, the specialist in advanced plastics technologies including controlled life and anti-microbial products, and waste-to-value systems announced that it has been audited by the UAE authorities and that its products meet the approved specification and can be imported or made in the UAE. This is a huge opportunity for Symphony to supply an indicative market of over 500,000 tons of Polymers. By Decree 77/5 of the United Arab Emirates the import and manufacture of plastic bags and other plastic products not conforming to the approved specification was prohibited as from 1st January 2013. The Government has now brought forward this prohibition to 1st January 2012. The Official Notice covers not just plastic bags, but all packaging and disposable articles made from plastic polymers derived from fossil-fuels. These include but are not limited to, flexible shopping bags and semi-rigid plastic packaging for food, magazines, consumer-durables, garbage bags, bin-liners for household use, shrink wrap, pallet wrap, cling film etc and other articles normally used over short periods and other articles normally used over short periods and subsequently discarded.
Synchronica (LON: SYNC 11.75p/£18.65m)
Synchronica the international provider of next-generation mobile messaging services has entered into a partnership with NewPace Technology Development Inc. to cooperate in the development, sales and marketing of a Rich Communication Suite (RCS) product. The partnership, in the form of a letter of intent, will see NewPace’s Rich Communication Suite of products (a mobile industry standards effort led by the GSM Association that unifies communication such as voice, presence, status, instant messaging/texting, buddy lists, media sharing, conferencing and video chat into one service on a mobile handset without the need for third-party software and downloads) extended to Synchronica’s growing list of worldwide clients. A good announcement that sees growth in the portfolio of products is offered by the Company.
Tandem Group (LON: TND 83p/£3.87m)
Designers, developers and distributors of sports and leisure equipment, provided a trading update where it stated that its market had continued to see uncertainty and intense competition for the five months to 31 December 2011, and that overall turnover for the 11 months to 31 December was down by 10 per cent to approximately £29m. Second half performance from the bicycles business was below the prior year as was revenues from the sports, leisure and toys businesses, though January 2012 has seen encouraging progress. Looking ahead, whilst the Company has developed its range of products to provide a greater offering, it continues to experience challenging economic conditions.
Tanfield (LON: TAN 55.5p/£57.71m)
The Board of Tanfield announced that its US associated company, Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. has signed a letter of intent with Wanxiang Group, a global leader in automotive parts manufacturing and supply. The principal terms include a US$25m investment in Smith, which will form part of the Series D placing announced on 14 February, and up to a US$75m investment for a joint venture to develop, manufacture and commercialize all-electric school buses and commercial vehicles for multiple industries in China.
Torotrak (LON: TRK 34.12p/£55.95m)
The Company has made good progress towards its key objectives, and financial performance in the second half of the year is in line with expectations with higher levels of licensing income being experienced. Torotrak is experiencing a particularly busy period of discussions with potential business partners across its target areas. It hopes to be in a position to report on some of those more fully in May when announcing its final results for the year to 31 March 2012.
Touchstone Gold (LON: TGL 18.5p/£19.19m)
Touchstone Gold Limited this morning announced that a new drilling programme, in a previously undrilled area of the company’s Rio Pescado property in Colombia, has intersected multiple high-grade gold intercepts, principally in the 1141 Zone area. The new zone lies to the south of the Filodehambre area and the drill holes were completed as part of the ongoing stage 3 drilling programme. These results have clear implications for the potential size of the resource at Rio Pescado, and demonstrate that a new zone of high-grade gold mineralisation is present directly to the south of Filodehambre. The assays from the 1141 Zone area represent the highest overall gold grades the Company has reported to date. Importantly, these results demonstrate continuity of the mineralised trend and the potential for further discoveries in the Rio Pescado Project. Dave Wiley, CEO of Touchstone Gold, commented: “As we have continued to expand our drilling programme, in accordance with our strategy and following the commissioning of a third drill, the initial expectations that we had about the potential of the Rio Pescado property are being met. 80% of the property remains unexplored but we can already take confidence from the existing data which demonstrates that an extensive, near surface, and high-grade area of mineralisation has been discovered. I am especially pleased for our shareholders who have supported our activity with such patience and who are now able to see just how valuable an asset they own. We have started to carefully evaluate exactly where, along the westerly down dip and southern strike, our next targets will be. We will need to obtain fresh permits for this work, but in the meantime our drilling programme will continue in existing areas of mineralisation in order to build on the already established and substantial base.”
Trifast (LON: TRI 41p/£43.82m)
As reported in November 2011, the Group’s strong performance in both sales and profitability in the first half of this current financial year provided a solid foundation and opportunity to further progress across all stated objectives. The Group has continued to benefit from both its ‘self-help’ objectives and its automotive customers’ manufacturing schedule requirements gaining momentum. Looking at the underlying TR business (pre-acquisition), due to a mix of customer de-stocking in Europe and the US on the back of on-going Eurozone concerns and, customer schedule changes in Asia following the Thai floods that occurred in September 2011, trading in the Q3 period softened, resulting in similar levels to the comparable Q3 2010/11 period. However, margins throughout the period have held up well and largely maintained at the half-year level. Though the Company noted that since the beginning of 2012 to the date of this announcement, the business has seen resurgence to more encouraging volumes and sales. On 14 December 2011, the Group completed its £15m Malaysian acquisition of Power Steel and Electro-Plating Works Sdn. Bhd. (PSEP), a manufacturer of higher value and technically sophisticated cold forged components used within the automotive, motorcycle and compressor industries which is considered to be one of the most advanced fastener manufacturers in the Asia region. Its customer base is complementary to TR’s customer base and substantially broadens the Group’s overall reach.
Triple Plate Junction (LON: TPJ 3.6p/£13.21m)
TPJ, the gold and copper exploration company in Joint Ventures with three of the world’s top four gold miners noted the recent report from Newcrest PNG Exploration, on its Q4 2011 exploration activities. Bill Howell, TPJ’s Exploration Director, commented: “Despite the delay in commencement of drilling, the ongoing sampling and mapping programme at the Manus project continues to better define the two drilling targets at Kisi and Arie. Both targets indicate early potential for size and type of mineralization to achieve the thresholds that major companies like Newcrest aim for in new discoveries, namely at least 5Moz of gold or gold equivalent for porphyry type deposits and 3Moz for higher grade gold in epithermal vein or vein replacement type deposits.”
Wasabi Energy (LON: WAS 1.6p/£38.45m)
Wasabi announce that the first Kalina Cycle® EcoGen unit has been successfully completed and installed at a Japanese hot spring. The EcoGen units, based on the miniaturisation of the Kalina Cycle® core technology, have been developed specifically for low temperature applications in the Japanese hot spring market. The geothermal power produced by the Kalina Cycle® EcoGen unit will be utilised by the local area and is the first operation of a binary power generation system in Japan utilising thermal energy from hot springs at a temperature below 100C.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP
14 February 2012
This week: Bloomsbury Publishing’s Passage to India, Triple Plate’s Double Gold, Fusion Reveals Innervision and Tanfield Gets a Lift.
The main market indices remain firm, despite various negative news flow from both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, the trade deficit widened unexpectedly while consumer confidence dipped below expectations. In Europe, Moody’s has revised its ‘AAA’ outlook on the UK and France downwards to a ‘negative outlook’ while also cutting the debt ratings of six European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal. Still, the FTSE is up 10 points to 5,900 and the AIM All Share up 18 points to 799 as news from corporates remains relatively benign and Greece has finally approved the latest austerity measures. The week ahead sees the release of Initial Jobless Claims and Housing Starts/Permits in the US and Jobless Claims in the UK.
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Disclaimer- This document, which does not constitute research, has been issued by Hybridan LLP for information purposes only- please refer to the disclaimer in full below.
BMY setting up new business in India, ENEG begins drilling, EGX patent granted, FIP trading update for Asalus, IDOX won 5 year contract, IDH gains FDA clearance, JUB spud well, MDY return of capital & cancellation of listing, MIRL Don Nicolas feasibility study, OXB management and board change, SLE completed evaluation, SLG large order, SLN New CEO appointed, SGO trading update, SPHR publication of two studies, SUMM clinical plans, TAN fund raise & update, TMZ trading update, TRP Uganda -mvule-1 Exploration Well spud, TPJ Morobe & Crater Mountain updates, VAL SAB established, VER licensing agreement and fund raise, XEN commences Phase I/IIa IV trial for ErepoXen and YOU pre-close trading update.
Bloomsbury Publishing (LON: BMY 124p/£91.98m)
Bloomsbury Publishing announced that it is setting up a new business in India. Among the fastest growing economies in the world, and with a rapidly increasing population where 50 million buy English books every year, India is an excellent market for the expanding and diverse product range of Bloomsbury. It is also steadily becoming an important source of authorship and will be a significant future ebooks market. Bloomsbury has already been operating in India for 25 years with a long standing marketing and distribution partnership with Penguin. The Group now plans to grow its presence in India by setting up a wholly owned business. The Indian company will be led by Rajiv Beri, a highly-regarded publishing professional who has been Managing Director of Macmillan’s Indian operations for over 15 years. The company will be based in Delhi and is expected to be operational by May 2012.
Enegi Oil (LON: ENEG 17.25p/£18.32m)
Enegi Oil, the oil & gas company operating in Canada and Ireland, has announced that drilling operations have commenced on the 3K39z well at the Shoal Point in Port au Port Bay, Newfoundland. The borehole has been drilled to a measured depth of 1,745 metres and has come across liquid hydrocarbon over the entire gross section of the well below approximately 700 metres. Further operations and a number of tests are planned, with the programme expected to take between nine and twelve weeks to complete, depending on the final number of cased-hole tests conducted.
Energetix Group (LON: EGX 28.5p/£18.57m)
Energetix Group, which develops and commercialises alternative and efficient energy products, has announced that its subsidiary Energetix Genlec Ltd. (Genlec) has received a notice of allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office for a key sub-system patent relating to its microCHP technology utilised in its Kingston microCHP appliance. The patent titled “Closed Cycle Heat Transfer Device and Method” is an important part of the integration of the Genlec organic Rankine cycle into the Kingston condensing boiler. The grant of this patent provides additional protection to the Company’s core product platform utilised in its Kingston microCHP product and builds on the Company’s intellectual property portfolio relating to its Genlec technology. The Company has a core patent granted in 32 countries which protects its organic Rankine cycle based microCHP system.
Fusion IP (LON: FIP 62p/£45.14m)*
Fusion IP, the university IP commercialisation company, announced that Asalus Medical Instruments has completed a first closing of its £0.7m funding round following a successful pre-clinical study of its lead product, Innervision. The £292k first closing included an investment from Fusion IP and it gives investors the option to invest a further £392k subject to investor approval and the achievement of milestones. Following the first closing the Company has a 46 per cent undiluted shareholding in Asalus, which could be reduced if the option for further investment is taken up. The funds will be invested in further studies and Innervision is expected to launch in 2013.
Idox (LON: IDOX 28.75p/£99.27m)
IDOX, which supplies software and services, has announced that its Information Solutions division has won a five-year contract to manage the Information Service of the Greater London Authority (GLA) following a competitive tender process. The contract is worth £800,000 across the five-year period and commenced in January 2012. IDOX will focus on delivery of the GLA’s intelligence function, supporting evidence-based decision and policy making across the capital.
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (LON: IDH 409.5p/£116.31m)
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings announced that clearance has been received from the US FDA for the Company’s Intact PTH automated immunoassay kit, enabling this product to be sold in the USA. The Intact PTH assay is intended for the quantitative determination of parathyroid hormone levels in human serum or plasma on the IDS-iSYS automated analyser. Results of the tests are to be used in the differential diagnosis of hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia resulting from disorders of calcium metabolism, which will enable doctors to more accurately diagnose parathyroid disease and to monitor patients undergoing renal dialysis and other diseases caused by calcium homeostasis.
Jubilant Energy (LON: JUB 27.25p/£113.4m)
Jubilant Energy, the oil & gas exploration and production company focused on India, has announced that the appraisal well DDE-A-2 was spud on 9 February 2012. DDE-A-2 is being drilled in a water depth of 99 metres utilising the Deep Driller-1 rig from Aban Offshore Ltd. This is the third appraisal well in the Deen Dayal East area of the block. The target depth of the well is 5,300 metres true vertical depth with the objective of appraising the lower Cretaceous Early Rift fill sands that were shown to be hydrocarbon bearing by the KG-16 discovery well. This is the eighteenth well to be drilled by the consortium in the block. The last thirteen wells drilled all flowed gas and condensates. Jubilant holds a 10 per cent participating interest in this block through its subsidiary, Jubilant Offshore Drilling Pvt Limited in India.
MDY Healthcare (LON: MDY 56p/£9.57m)
MDY Healthcare, the strategic investor in healthcare companies, announced the proposed return of capital to Shareholders of 52 pence per ordinary share on 10 April 2012. There will be a proposed capital reduction in order to facilitate this return of capital and the Company also proposes cancellation of admission of the Company’s ordinary shares to trading on AIM, and the intention to establish alternative arrangements for dealings in the ordinary shares as a private limited company. These proposals are conditional on shareholder approval; the reduction of capital and the return of capital are also subject to Court approval. An extraordinary general meeting is to be held at 11.00 a.m. on 8 March 2012.
Minera IRL (LON: MIRL 71.5p/£85.50m)
Minera IRL, the Latin America gold mining company, announced the results of a Feasibility Study for the Don Nicolas Project located in mining friendly Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. The Don Nicolas Project is 100 per cent owned by Minera IRL Patagonia SA, a subsidiary of Minera IRL Limited. The study was managed by international engineering firm Wardrop, a Tetra Tech Company (Tetra Tech). The Don Nicolas Project is on track to become Minera IRL’s second producing mine with commercial gold and silver production targeted to commence in Q4 2013. Based on a conservative gold price of US$1,250 per ounce the report estimates the project could potentially have a value of US$44.7m (pre-tax) and US$25.1m (post tax the Company can now proceed with the permitting and development of a new, highly profitable goldmine to complement the Corihuarmi Goldmine in Peru.
Oxford BioMedica (LON: OXB 3.2p/£30.24m)
The leading gene-based biopharmaceutical company announced that Andrew Wood, CFO, has stepped down from the Board of Oxford BioMedica. Tim Watts has been appointed to the Board as CFO and Company Secretary of Oxford BioMedica with immediate effect. Tim was most recently CFO at Archimedes Pharma Ltd., an international specialty pharmaceutical company. Tim qualified as a chartered accountant, beginning his career with Coopers & Lybrand before moving to H J Heinz, the food producer. In 1985 Tim joined ICI, eventually rising to be Finance Director of the Zeneca Pharmaceuticals business. Following the merger of Astra and Zeneca, Tim became Group Financial Controller of AstraZeneca PLC in 2001.
San Leon Energy (LON: SLE 12.25p/£138.92m)
San Leon Energy, the oil and gas company with assets in Europe and North Africa, has completed the drilling and initial evaluation, and has cased its Siciny-2 well in the SW Carboniferous Basin of Poland, which comprises of 880,000 acres held 100 per cent by San Leon. The well is located in the company’s 100 per cent operated Gora Concession 70km to the southeast of the city of Zielona Gora. These results show four potential zones for unconventional gas production, including a newly identified interval. In total, more than 500 meters of potential reservoir were discovered for further analysis and possible testing. The management believes the complex nature of the Carboniferous source rock, including natural fracturing, shows real promise for gas production.
Sarantel Group (LON: SLG 0.62p/£5.19m)
Sarantel Group, a manufacturer of high-performance, miniature filtering antennas for mobile and wireless devices, has received its largest order to date from a leading military radio manufacturer for a range of different Sarantel antenna products. The order is for GeoHelix® GPS antennas which the manufacturer uses across a variety of products. It represents the culmination of many years of product and business development efforts between both companies. This order, part of a multi-year supply contract, is expected to be delivered over the next twelve months and is expected to have a significant impact on Sarantel’s revenues and cash flow in the current financial year. The Company is currently considering a number of options for both short and medium term financing, including a commercial loan.
Silence Therapeutics (LON: SLN 2.6p/£15.0m)*
Silence Therapeutics, a leading RNA interference therapeutics company, announced the departure of CEO, Thomas Christély, and that his replacement will be the Chief Business Officer, Tony Sedgwick. Tony joined the Company in September 2011 and he has extensive experience in European life science companies including roles such as CEO of Novacta and Chairman of Norwegian biotech company Plastid AS.
SocialGO (LON: SGO 0.98p/£4.34m)
The software developer and provider of social media applications announced a trading update for its financial year ended 31 December 2011. The Company released Version 2 of its proprietary software in October 2011 and early trials have yielded positive feedback. Version 1 still provides revenue for the Company but is no longer on sale. Revenue from Version 2 has been growing month on month with sales of new subscriptions doubling from December to January. The Company’s joint venture with Muronia to target clients seeking to exploit social networks to contact their fan base signed up its first client British band Kasabian. It was also announced that Lord William Astor has joined the Board of Directors. Lord Astor currently serves in the House of Lords and is a director of Networkers International and Silvergate Media. Also, Mr Vikrant Bhargava resigned from the Board due to growing external commitments but will take an active interest in the Company.
Sphere Medical Holding (LON: SPHR 80.5p/£29.63m)
Leading developer of innovative monitoring and diagnostic products for the critical care setting announced the publication of two studies that support the utility of real time propofol measurement in routine clinical use. The first study, carried out at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham UK, demonstrated that the use of Sphere Medical’s Pelorus 1000 propofol measurement system has the potential to significantly improve the accuracy of patient dosage when administering propofol using target controlled infusion.
Sphere Medical is also pleased to announce the publication of a paper titled “Performance Evaluation of a Whole Blood Propofol Analyser” in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing. The authors’ conclusion is that “the Pelorus 1000 propofol measurement system fulfils the requirements for measurement of propofol levels in whole blood samples with precision and accuracy suitable for elucidating propofol pharmacokinetics at clinically relevant concentrations.”
Summit Corporation (LON: SUMM 6.38p/£11.95m)*
UK drug Discovery Company outlined its clinical trial plans for SMT C1100, a potential first-in-class disease modifying drug for the treatment of the fatal rare disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. DMD is a neuromuscular disease and is caused by the absence of dystrophin, a protein which is essential in maintaining the healthy function of muscles in the body. SMT C1100 is a small molecule that works by producing a naturally occurring protein called utrophin to substitute for the missing dystrophin. This is the only approach in development that continually makes new utrophin and has the potential to treat all DMD patients, regardless of their specific genetic mutation. A drug to treat DMD has the potential to generate annual sales in excess of $1bn. SMT C1100 has been extensively evaluated in non-clinical efficacy and safety studies and has demonstrated its ability to restore and maintain the function of muscles. A Phase I clinical trial in healthy volunteers will now be conducted by Summit. The trial will evaluate if the new formulation of SMT C1100 can provide consistent levels of the drug in the blood that non-clinical efficacy studies predicted would be required to confer therapeutic benefit in DMD patients, while also further assessing its safety. The manufacture and formulation of SMT C1100 is currently on-track and Summit expects to submit a clinical trial application (CTA) to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in Q1 2012. If CTA approval is granted, the Phase I trial would commence with headline results from this study anticipated in Q3 2012. A successful outcome from the Phase I trial could lead to a Phase II study in DMD patients starting in H1 2013. The Phase I clinical trial is completely funded by the $1.5m agreement signed in December 2011 between Summit and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Charley’s Fund, Cure Duchenne, the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne and the Nash Avery Foundation.
Tanfield (LON: TAN 46.5p/£43.75m)
Tanfield Group, the manufacturer of aerial work platforms, provided a trading update prior to entering the closed period ahead of its preliminary results for the financial year ending 31 December 2011. Trading for the second half of 2011 was similar to that of the first half. The Company’s order book continued to grow as order intake significantly outstripped monthly shipment revenues. Equipment lead times extended as the growth rate was managed to ensure the company optimised the use of its working capital. Net cash at 31 December 2011 was £3.4m (31 December 2010: £3.6m). The company also announced that it has conditionally raised gross proceeds of approximately £12m by way of a placing of 29,268,293 new ordinary shares of 5p at a price of 41p per share, conditional on the passing of the Resolution.
Toumaz Technology (LON: TMZ 9.88p/£62.16m)
Toumaz, a pioneer in low cost, ultra-low power wireless communications technology, announced a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2011. At the end of 2011 Toumaz was reorganized into two distinct businesses; Toumaz UK covering healthcare and Toumaz Microsystems covering semiconductor chips and low power wireless connectivity. Toumaz UK saw the 510(k) approval by the FDA for the Sensium disposable digital plaster in July 2011. Following which Toumaz established a joint venture with California Capital Equity (CCE) to commercialise the plaster to hospitals. The joint venture, Toumaz US, is 20 per cent owned by Toumaz and the Company will receive royalties on products sold using its IP. The product has been launched in its first hospital and a general launch is expected in the second half of 2012. Toumaz has also in the period entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with a newly established company to use the Sensium technology for sports and fitness applications worldwide, excluding North America. The terms include a license fee and product development fees exceeding £1m, with royalties on sales. Products are expected to be ready for commercialisation during the second half of 2012. Toumaz Microsystems secured investment from Imagination Technologies (LON: IMG) as a strategic partner. Toumaz Microsystems’ Telran product was cleared for EU and US distribution in October 2011 and supply agreements are already in place with customers. Another product, Xenif, shipped in increasing volumes during 2011. The Company secured £11.2m of investment so that Toumaz Microsystems can develop the first multi-standard connectivity chip to satisfy the new IEEE standards.
Tower Resources (LON: TRP 3.55p/£43.52m)
Tower Resources, with exploration assets in offshore Namibia and Uganda, confirmed that themvule-1 exploration well spud on 12th February 2012. The well is being drilled to an estimated depth of 620metres. Operations are expected to take two to three weeks and a further announcement will be made once drill results have been determined.
Triple Plate Junction (LON: TPJ 3.82p/£14.03m)
TPJ advised that Newmont Ventures Ltd. has provided a Summary Report on the initial exploratory drilling programme at the Hides Creek prospect in the Morobe Joint Venture area of Papua New Guinea over which TPJ has a 25 per cent carried interest through to commercial production. Bill Howell, TPJ Exploration Director, noted: “The size and shape of the system is comparable to the Panguna porphyry copper-gold-deposit deposit on Bougainville Island, PNG which during its 17 years of operation between 1972 and 1989 was recognised in 1985 as the world’s fourth largest copper mine.” Gold Anomaly Limited (ASX: GOA), the Company’s joint venture partner in the Crater Mountain Project, released an announcement of results from Diamond Drill Hole NEV031. TPJ holds an 8 per cent interest in the Crater Mountain Project. The commencement of a petrographic study of the mineralization and alteration trends encountered in the Nevera Prospect drill holes should contribute to a better understanding of the potential of this large mineralized system.
ValiRx (LON: VAL 0.72p/£7.68m)*
AIM listed life science Company with a focus on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics for personalised medicine is pleased to announce that it has established a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to advise and assist the Company as it looks to further develop its technologies and products in oncology therapeutics and diagnostics. The SAB will be instrumental in the capacity of preparing to take current and future compounds into Phase I clinical trials. Late preclinical studies into one of the Company’s lead therapeutics, VAL201, carried out in collaboration with Oxford University, have firmly established a potentially important role for the compound in treating hormone induced refractory prostate cancer and other conditions of hormone induced uncontrolled cell growth including breast and ovarian cancer, among others. The Company is pleased to report the successful manufacture of the VAL201 compound to a regulatory compliant standard (GMP). VAL201 is currently undergoing regulatory toxicology studies and the GMP produced compound will allow completion in a timely manner. The Company welcomes the support of the SAB, as it completes the preclinical process and commences the regulatory process prior to clinical trials. The SAB includes Professor Calvert, Dr Richard Harbottle and Dr Jean-Frédéric Sauniere. Professor Calvert has recently been appointed Director of Cancer Drug Discovery and Development at the UCL Cancer Institute. Dr Richard Harbottle is currently the Group Leader of Gene Therapy Research in the section of Molecular Medicine at Imperial College London. Dr Jean-Frédéric Sauniere is currently medical oncologist at the Institut Paoli & Calmettes in Marseille.
Vernalis (LON: VER 26.12p/£26.02m)
Vernalis, the development stage pharmaceutical company, has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Tris Pharma, a private US pharmaceutical company based in New Jersey, to develop and commercialise multiple novel products focused on the US prescription cough/cold market. Under the terms of the agreement, Tris, using its proprietary technology, will develop, on behalf of Vernalis, up to six New Drug Applications (NDAs). Tris will undertake and fund the development work and Vernalis will pay development milestones to Tris on each product as they successfully progress through clinical development. Vernalis will acquire and then commercialise these products on approval in the US and pay a sales-based royalty to Tris. Vernalis is also raising £65.9m net through a placing of 342.5m new shares to fund the project with Tris as well as fund development of other products and collaborations.
Xenetic Biosciences (LON: XEN 10.75p/£39.58m)
Xenetic Biosciences, a bio-pharmaceutical company specialising in the development of high-value differentiated biological and vaccines and novel cancer drugs, announced that in a Phase I/IIa IV (intra venous) clinical trial, its co-development partner, the Serum Institute of India (SIIL), has dosed its first patient with their jointly-owned ErepoXen(R) candidate. The trial will encompass forty Chronic Renal Failure patients on dialysis and the end points will be to confirm safety and reductions in the frequency of dosage. In the case of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients, EPO is administered intravenously three times per week. Xenetic’s ErepoXen has already demonstrated in Phase I and II (a) clinical that it has the potential to be a long-acting version with a likely dosing profile of once per month. SIIL is also conducting repeated dosing toxicity studies which are designed to facilitate the early commencement of Phase III trials. The global market for EPO drugs is estimated to be in the region of $9bn. Commenting on the Phase I/IIa trial, M. Scott Maguire, CEO of Xenetic, said: “… We have previously announced positive Ph IIa subcutaneous results and now, with the intravenous trial, we cover the full $9bn market potential of EPO. We now have four drug candidates under clinical development with our partners including two via our recent acquisition of SymbioTec in Germany. Our aim is to fund ErepoXen(R) through to an FDA Phase IIa at which point we will seek to out-license this candidate.”
YouGov (LON: YOU 62p/£60.23m)
The international online market research agency issued an update for the six months to 31 January 2012 ahead of the interim results announcement due in April 2012. Trading across the Group in the first half of the current financial year has been in line with expectations and the Board is confident of the full year outcome. Double digit organic revenue growth has been achieved in the six months. As announced at the time of the preliminary results in October, the Group is investing significantly in developing new markets and products which has reduced profit margins in the first half. The Group’s balance sheet remains strong with net cash at 31 January 2012 of approximately £10m.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP
7 February 2012
This week: New energy for Alkane, solid trading update for SSP and Symphony sings to a powerful audience.
A reasonably good week for the financial markets, with the FTSE up 150 points to 5,890 and the AIM All Share up 17 points to 781. Whilst the underlying European and global financial difficulties continue, a spate of positive announcements, such as US job number growth (a drop in unemployment to 8.3 per cent) and Eurozone service sector growth (with the PMI up by 1.6 points in January) certainly helped the markets, as have company announcements such as BP’s increased profits and Xstrata’s $90bn merger with Glencore. The week ahead sees the MPC February interest rate decision, producer price and industrial production & manufacturing output data.
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Disclaimer- This document, which does not constitute research, has been issued by Hybridan LLP for information purposes only- please refer to the disclaimer in full below.
ALK Acquisition and trading update, ALL Interim results, ABH New manufacturing contracts, AVN Interim Results, BSST Trading update, CNS Trading update, EKF Contract award, ESG Appointment of VP, FIP Collaboration and sales, GWP Regulatory approval in Austria, HLO Appoints CFO, IKA JDA with Energizer, ISG Contract award, MTEC Trading Update, MDW Final results, NTOG Hewitt & Bale Creek, OMG New contract, PRES Trading update, SSP Trading update, STEL Initial bulk sampling results from Kono, SUN FDA approval, SYM Mexico update, SNG audited 6 month results, TRP Operational update, TRT Order from Bridgestone, VAL Patent approval for NAV3, XEN Proposed Open Offer cancelled and ZCGP Client renewal.
Take-Over Activity Round-Up
Last week proved an interesting week for small cap takeover activity with the Friday seeing the announcement of a cash offer to acquire Network Group Holdings (LON: NGH 29p/£19.6m) by its management team, backed by Lloyds Development Capital. The price of 26 pence per Network share represented a premium of approximately 40 per cent to the pre-announcement share price. The deal was announced in the morning with the support of irrevocable undertakings to accept the offer over shares representing 91 per cent of the Network share capital – enabling the offer to be declared wholly unconditional in the afternoon.
Friday afternoon also saw an announcement by PLUS Markets Group (LON: PMK 0.98p/£3.77m) that it had decided to conduct a formal sale process in order to identify appropriate potential partners for the Company or major strategic investors – thereby putting itself into play for the purposes of the Take-over Code. The Company added that the board believes that it is in the best interests of the company to seek a partner which will help it achieve the scale and reach required to maximise value to stakeholders.
Earlier in the week, Myriad, a £135m market cap Swiss Exchange listed software company providing software solutions and services for the mobile phone and consumer electronics industries, announced an all share offer to Synchronica (LON: SYNC 11.62p/£18.45m) valuing each Synchronica share at 13 pence and the Company itself at approximately £20m. The offer is at a premium of 70 per cent to the price on the date which Myriad first made a non-binding indicative proposal to the Board of Synchronica but the consideration shares in Myriad will only be listed on the Swiss Exchange. Myriad noted that Synchronica has an obligation to pay deferred acquisition consideration to Nokia of approximately US$20.2m payable in full before 31 December 2015 and questioned Synchronica’s ability to repay the Nokia debt. Synchronica advised shareholders to take no action in respect of the offer and await a further announcement.
Finally, the battle for control of Victoria (LON: VCP 355p/£24.65m) continues (see SCW 17 January 2011) with the existing Board advising its shareholders not to support the resolution requisitions of the rebel shareholders until they have received and read the circular from Victoria containing the notice of general meeting and at which the resolutions to change the Board will be voted upon. The Board confirmed that it will report on the progress of the formal sale process, announced on 13 January 2012, by the end of February 2012.
Alkane Energy (LON: ALK 20p/£19.94m)
Alkane Energy, the alternative energy company, last week announced that it had conditionally agreed to acquire Greenpark Energy Limited, a coal mine methane (CMM) and power response power generation business, for a total consideration of up to £5.725m. Greenpark management estimates that the CMM and power response business being acquired generated unaudited revenue of circa £3.4m and EBITDA of circs £1.9m for the year ended 31 December 2011. The acquisition has been financed by conditional funding arrangements to extend and add additional banking facilities, increasing total facilities to £9.5m, to be provided by Lloyds TSB Bank PLC (currently drawn prior to the acquisition at approximately £5.0m), the issue of a £2.0m convertible loan notes and the issue of £250,000 in Alkane ordinary shares. The Company also announced that it expected to report revenues of circa £9.5m (2010: £6.6 m) for the financial year ended 31 December 2011 with full year electricity output of circa 140GWh (2010: 120GWh) with the average electricity sales price for 2011 expected to be approximately £51/MWh (2010: £44/MWh).
Allocate Software (LON: ALL 79p / £50.21m)
Allocate Software, the leading provider of workforce and compliance optimisation solutions, announced interims for the six months to 30 November 2011. Whilst revenue for the Company showed marginal increase at £16m (2010: £15.9m), impairment and other charges during the period took Allocate to a loss before tax of £6.57m (2010: £1.18m profit). Despite this, the Company believes it could have a good full year to look forward to having secured a multi million pound long term agreement with the Australian Defence Force in December which is likely to add significantly to the full year revenues (through the extension of the deployment of Allocate’s DefenceSuite to all personnel in the Australian Army).
Angel Biotech (LON: ABH 0.28p/£9.0m)*
Angel Biotechnology Holdings, the biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer, has agreed three further manufacturing agreements with OOO NPF Materia Medica Holding (MMH), a major Russian pharmaceutical company, with a combined value of £4.5m. Under the agreements Angel will initiate activities in its existing facilities with the aim to transfer the contracts to the joint venture company announced on 17 October 2011. It is expected these projects will run concurrently and take approximately 22 months to complete.
Avanti Communications (LON: AVN 284p / £241.26m)
The broadband satellite provider announced interim results for the six months to 31 December 2011. Revenues for the period increased significantly to £5.1m (2010: £1.2m), though the Company continued to post losses, which this period came in at £6.8m (2010: £6.3m), largely due to significant operational costs. HYLAS 1, Avanti’s broadband satellite, provided the Company with its first full 6 months of revenue, and the 2nd quarter will see HYLAS 2 launch which will extend Avanti’s coverage to Africa and the Middle East, helping the Company to drive forwards and build capacity. At the end of 2011, Avanti had a backlog of orders worth £181m, with a pipeline going forwards in negotiation worth £530m; though for the year to 30th June 2012 there is clear visibility of £17m revenues. The Company is also looking further ahead, with HYLAS 3 planned to be launch in partnership with ESA in 2015. With growing demand, and a plan to serve the need with infrastructure and capacity growth, we look forward to seeing how the full year ahead unfolds.
BlueStar SecuTech (LON: BSST 10.5p/£7.64m)
Blue Star SecuTech, a leading provider of digital video surveillance solutions in China, this week provided a trading update for the second half of its financial year ending 31 March 2012. The Board reported that whilst BlueStar’s sales prospects for the first few months from 30 September 2011 were encouraging, the outlook for revenues following the Chinese New Year holiday is lower than previously expected. Furthermore, although the Company succeeded in winning a number of contracts towards the end of 2011, it anticipates that revenue will not be recognized from some of these contracts until after its financial year end. As a consequence, BlueStar’s revenues for the full year are expected to be lower than last year’s revenues and will have a material effect on the Company’s net profits, which are now expected to be significantly lower than the Board’s original forecasts.
Corero Network Security (LON: CNS 43.5p/£20.76m)
Corero Network Security, the network security and business software provider, this week provided an update on trading for the year ended 31 December 2011. Consolidated revenue for the year ended 31 December 2011 is expected to be approximately £11.0m (2010: £3.0m) and consolidated operating profit before depreciation, amortisation, exceptional costs and financing expected to be above breakeven. Cash balances at 31 December 2011 were £4.3m. The Company also reported significant post acquisition progress in the Corero Network Security business as the business has been repositioned through investments in product development and a new international sales organisation.
EKF Diagnostics (LON: EKF 25.5p/£64.1m)
The global manufacturer of point of care in-vitro diagnostic devices has won a contract to supply the State of New Mexico’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics with its point-of-care haemoglobin testing instrument, the HemoPoint® H2, and related cuvettes. The initial order is for 220 instruments which will be supplied to over 100 WIC clinics throughout the US State and will be used to carry out tests for anaemia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anaemia is one of the most common blood conditions in the US, affecting about 3.5m people. An initial indication from the New Mexico WIC clinics suggests that they expect to perform more than 160,000 tests per year using the HemoPoint H2 instrument.
eServ Global (LON: ESG 19.75p/£38.9m)
The global telecoms software supplier, which specialises in mobile money and value added services (VAS), has appointed Paolo Montessori as Vice President, Mobile Money. Mr. Montessori is a well recognised figure in the global mobile VAS market and for the past three years has had a particular focus on delivering Mobile Money solutions. Prior to joining eServGlobal, Mr. Montessori was Vice President Sales for Comviva Technologies Ltd (formerly Bharti Telesoft Ltd) where he was closely involved in Mobile Money and Payments and led both commercial and solution design in this field.
Fusion IP (LON: FIP 70.5p/£51.33m)*
Fusion IP, the university IP commercialisation company, announced that its 48 per cent owned LED Company, Seren, has signed its first collaboration to bring its processes to market with a major, undisclosed, LED manufacturer. The agreement allows the partner to take a licence to manufacture products incorporating Seren’s processes and gives exclusive rights in India. The Company also announced that its 47 per cent owned company Mesuro took $1.25m worth of new sales for its RF equipment in the last quarter of 2011 to three undisclosed customers.
GW Pharmaceuticals (LON: GWP 90p/£119.75m)
GW Pharmaceuticals has received regulatory approval for Sativex® in Austria as a treatment for spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The launch of Sativex® in Austria is expected to take place during 2012 following completion of the national pricing and reimbursement process, and will be marketed by GW’s partner, Almirall S.A. The company has also announced that, further to the November 2011 announcement of the filing of a new regulatory application to expand Sativex® to additional European countries, the dossier has been validated and is now under technical review by regulatory authorities in the following countries: Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia. It is expected that this new European Mutual Recognition Procedure (MRP) process should complete around mid 2012. Sativex® is currently available as a prescription medicine in the UK, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Canada and New Zealand. Launches are expected during 2012 in Italy, Sweden, Austria and the Czech Republic. Sativex® is also in Phase III clinical development as a treatment for cancer pain.
Healthcare Locums (LON: HLO 3.64p/£30.86m)
Healthcare Locums the staffing group for the health and social care sectors, said Thursday that it has appointed Sue Bygrave, who joins from Biome Technologies (LON: BIOM 0.14p/£8.24m), as Chief Finance Officer. She will formally take up her role as an Executive Director on the board on February 6th and will assume responsibility for all accounting activity across the group including operations in Australia.
Ilika (LON: IKA 55p/£20.1m)
Ilika the advanced cleantech materials discovery company announced that it has entered into a joint development agreement with Energizer Battery Manufacturing Inc., in the USA, a world leading primary battery manufacturer, for the development of advanced materials. An Energizer spokesperson said: “Ilika’s high throughput techniques are well-matched to our material development requirements and we look forward to rapid innovation in this collaboration.”
Interior Services Group (LON: ISG 144p/£48.1m)
The international construction services group has signed a contract worth at least £100m with Santander to construct and fit out a new data centre in East Midlands. The project includes the construction of two identical and technically complex buildings, each with an individual gross floor area of over 161,000 sq. ft.
Matchtech Group (LON: MTEC 211.5p/£49.49m)
One of the UK’s leading specialist recruitment agencies operating in the Engineering, Science, Technology and Professional Services sectors last week provided a Trading Update for the six months ending 31 January 2012 and the Board’s current outlook for the year to 31 July 2012. The Group has continued to trade in line with the Board’s expectations. There was a strong net fee income performance across the whole Group during the period, with a total of £17.0m, up 26 per cent against the same period last year. Whilst the trading environment currently remains steady, the Board remains mindful of the impact of uncertainty in the macro-economic environment on business confidence and the effect this may have on Permanent Fees, which were 33 per cent of the Group’s net fee income in H1 2012. The Board now expects that the Group’s full year performance will be within the range of expectations, albeit towards the lower end of that range, with profits for the financial year again significantly weighted towards H2. The Group will release its Interim Results for the six months ended 31 January 2011 on Wednesday 11 April 2012, at which point it will provide a further update on trading.
Mediwatch (LON: MDW 2.25p/£3.17m)
The innovative urological diagnostic company announced its final results for the year ending 31 October 2011. Sales revenues came in at £10.6m (2010: £10.5m), increased EBITDA for the year was £713,000 (2010: £583,000) and increased profit before taxation for the year of £322,000 (2010: £233,000). Profits and cash flows have increased due to the re-organisation that commenced in Q1 2011, including the outsourcing of major parts of the manufacturing process. The PSAwatch is at an early stage of commercialisation with clinical trials in France to gain reimbursement approval, direct marketing starting in Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico and China, growing sales in the UK private sector and the potential for further co-operation and trials with two international pharmaceutical companies. Significant sales growth of circa 75 per cent was seen in developing markets (Far East and Russia), providing an excellent platform for further growth, balancing the detrimental effects of the Arab Spring. Mobilewatch is making great strides and has increased its turnover three fold in the last 3 months. The Company continued to strengthen its product range and partnership with EBNeuro S.p.A. for the exclusive distribution of its gastro and neuro-physiology products in the UK. Omer Karim, Mediwatch Chairman said: “…During 2012 we anticipate the conclusion of a number of important research and development projects that will strengthen and update our existing product lines in urodynamics and ultrasound while reducing unit costs…”
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (LON: NTOG 0.42p/£8.09m)
Nostra Terra, the oil and gas producer with projects in the USA has commenced foreclosure proceedings against Richfield Oil & Gas Company, formerly Hewitt Petroleum, Inc. The Company issued a US$1.3m secured loan note which has been accruing interest at 10 per cent per annum from the date of issue and which matured on 31 December 2011. As announced on 6th January 2012, the Company granted Richfield an extension on the repayment date to 31st January 2012. To date, no funds have been received from Richfield and it has been notified that it is in default. Nostra Terra has begun the process of recovering against the collateral. The Loan Note is secured against producing leases located in Kansas and non-producing leases located in Utah. Nostra Terra is in the process of assuming temporary control to operate the producing leases in Kansas during the foreclosure process. Following 3D seismic interpretation at Bale Creek, locations of the initial wells have been adjusted. Site construction is now underway, and spudding is expected to follow.
OMG (LON: OMG 23.5p/£16.78m)
The mobile motion capture (mobile mocap) technology group announced a substantial contract for it division Yotta DCL, which is a highway surveying company. The four year contract (with an option to renew for a further year) is expected to be worth £2.27m in total, with Yotta performing a Traffic Speed Condition Survey (TRACS) to determine the condition of the road surface- in total, approximately 140,000km of motorway and other major roads across England is to be surveyed using the Company’s new Tempest vehicles. OMG also announced that its Vicon division has signed an agreement to provide motion capture (mocap) technology to The Imaginarium, a London based studio, with eighty of its cutting edge T160 mocap cameras being supplied along with Vicon’s new Blade software providing all the crucial elements needed for mocap. Whilst the Company faced a difficult last year (prelims for the year to 30th September 2011 in showed an 81 per cent drop in profits to £0.7m) these recent contract wins marks a good start to 2012 and we look forward to seeing how the Company progresses over the course of the year, with a particular highlight being a new camera the Company is working on.
Pressure Technologies (LON: PRES 143.5p/£16.29m)
The designer and manufacturer of specialty engineering solutions for high pressure systems has announced a considerable strengthening in the order book of its largest division, Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC), thanks to increased activity in the deep water oil rig market. Hydratron is driving growth in the Engineered Products Division and order books have strengthened in both the UK and USA. This is underpinned by continued strength in the global wellhead and controls markets led by the USA, which is aiming to become energy self-sufficient by 2030. In the Alternative Energy division, Chesterfield BioGas has only won one biogas upgrader project out of the two expected, and it is unlikely that any further orders won this financial year can be delivered in the year. There are a number of potential vehicle refuelling and trailer projects that are likely to reduce any shortfall in activity. However, given the size of the Company’s total order book and the immediate pipeline, the management is confident of achieving market forecasts for the current financial year.
Solid State (LON: SSP 139p/£9.44m)
Solid State, the AIM listed supplier of battery power solutions, specialist electronic components and industrial/ruggedised computers to the electronics market, this week announced that trading in the year ending 31 March 2012 has continued to be very satisfactory and the result for the year is now expected to be ahead of current market expectations. While revenues have been broadly as expected, the sales mix has shifted in the second half in favour of higher margin product.
Stellar Diamonds (LON: STEL 6.25p/£13.55m)
The diamond mining and exploration company focused on West Africa has provided initial bulk sampling diamond grade results from the Lion-5 kimberlite dyke at its Kono diamond licence in eastern Sierra Leone. 346 dry tonnes of kimberlite were sampled and yielded 244 carats for in-situ grade of 70 carats per hundred tonnes, which is consistent with the previous trial mining results from the Pol-K and Bardu kimberlites at Kono. The management believes these results indicate that the Lion-5 kimberlite has significant exploration potential and intends to continue the exploration and evaluation work to develop this potential.
Surgical Innovations Group (LON: SUN 12p/£47.42m)
The designer and manufacturer of creative solutions for minimally invasive surgery announced that it has received FDA approval for its Logic range of reusable instruments. These instruments are compatible with the Group’s Logic Handles, which already have approval in the US, and are currently used with the Company’s Resposable LogiRange- FDA approval will therefore help the Company to further penetrate these markets and take advantage of this sizeable market. A new contract with the Premier healthcare alliance was also signed with the Company’s master dealer for the sale of the Group’s Resposable LogiRange, and Logic range of reusable instruments, running for three years from 1 April 2012 with an option to extend for 2 years upon the agreement of both parties. A strong update by the Company.
Symphony Environmental Technologies (LON: SYM 5.75p/£7.35m)
Symphony Environmental Technologies, the specialist in advanced plastics technologies reported that on 31 January that the Company presented its advanced plastic and other environmental solutions to business and political leaders at the residence of the British Ambassador in Mexico. Particularly pleasing was the strong interest in the “d2Detector”, a portable device which shows whether the plastic product has been correctly made, and helps brand-owners to detect counterfeiting. In Mexico, Symphony, through its exclusive distributor Plasticos Degradables is actively involved in research and development with universities and institutions. A new laboratory with advanced equipment will be opened in March.
Synairgen (LON: SNG 28.5p/£19.92m)
The respiratory drug discovery and development company with a particular focus on viral defence of the lungs this week announced its audited results for the six months ended 31 December 2011 following the change of year-end to that date. The Phase II trial of inhaled interferon beta (IFN-beta) in asthma is on schedule: last subjects were dosed in December 2011, with results anticipated in March 2012. Positive results from the pre-clinical study completed in November 2011 showed that aerosolised IFN-beta reduced virus-induced pneumonia, suggesting that inhaled IFN-beta may have potential as a broad spectrum antiviral for use in patients admitted to hospital with suspected viral lung infections; and as a post-exposure prophylactic defence against a lethal virus threat to the lungs. Research and development expenditure for the period came in at £1.8m (year ended 30 June 2011: £2.9m), whilst the post-tax loss for the period was £2.0m (year ended 30 June 2011: £3.2m) and the company had cash at 31 December 2011 of £3.4m (30 June 2011: £4.9m). Business development activity for the out-licensing of the IFN-beta programme is being coordinated to coincide with the availability of key clinical trial data.
Tower Resources (LON: TRP 4.35p/£53.33m)
Tower Resources who has exploration assets in offshore Namibia and Uganda, provided an update on operational progress in Uganda, where the Mvule-1 well is now expected to spud within 6-9 days, i.e. between the 8th and 11th of February. Tower’s wholly owned subsidiary, Neptune Petroleum (Uganda) Limited, has begun mobilisation of the OGEC K900 drilling rig to the Mvule-1 site. Preparation of the site is near completion and rigging up is about to begin. The well is anticipated to reach a total drilled depth of about 600 metres within two weeks of spud. A further update will be released once the well has spudded. The well is evaluating estimated recoverable resource potential of 80 m bbls.
Transense Technologies (LON: TRT 5p/£8.83m)*
The sensor systems specialist for the transportation and industrial markets has received an order from Bridgestone Brazil for its next-generation iProbe commercial tyre inspection tool. This follows a successful field trial and positive feedback from Bridgestone’s customers. The management believes this is a strong endorsement of its technology and anticipates further orders to follow as part of an on-going deployment programme by Bridgestone. Bridgestone Brazil, in partnership with Transense and its South American partner, Budini Inc., has developed a tyre inspection software solution built around the iProbe, for mobile devices running on the Apple iOS and Android platforms. Bridgestone Brazil will use the iProbe and software as a complete tyre monitoring and reporting system for its commercial tyre customers and independent service providers.
ValiRx (LON: VAL 0.71p/£7.52m)*
The life science company announced that its cancer screening biomarker NAV3 has received patent approval by the European Patent Office. The Company is now in position to begin production and marketing of the biomarker. The biomarker is one of five patent family assets the Company’s subsidiary, ValiFinn Oy, purchased from Pharmatest Services Oy in January 2012. ValiRx retains all commercial rights to the five patent family assets and is currently in negotiation with clinical partners for potential production.
Xenetic Biosciences (LON: XEN 10.25p/£37.74m)
Xenetic Biosciences, a bio-pharmaceutical company focussed on high-value differentiated biological and vaccines and novel cancer drugs, announces that the Open Offer as proposed in the Shareholder Circular dated 4 August 2011 will not be implemented. The Company’s share price of 9 pence per share on 31 January 2012 was below the Open Offer price of 11 pence per share and hence the Directors determined it was not in the best interest of the Company to implement the Open Offer.
Zeta Compliance Group (LON: ZCGP.PL 50.5p/£4.43m)*
Zeta Compliance Group announced that five of its clients renewed their long term contracts, which will provide revenues of £985,000 over the coming year. Four of these clients are clients in the retail sector and Zeta will be responsible for the monitoring of approximately 6,900 sites around the UK. The Company faced difficult market conditions in the last quarter of the financial year ending 31 January 2012 with preliminary annual results due in May.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP