Small Cap Wrap: Month: January 2013

AIM Breakfast - Archive

22 January 2013

This week: More energy from ALK, Blooming e-sales for BMY, Higher gold recovery for CGNR

Last week saw a slight dip in the FTSE mid week before rising to close the week at 6,163 points (having opened at 6,122). The AIM All share ended the week where it started at 735 points. UK Retail Sales figures were announced on Friday, which fell at a seasonally adjusted 0.1 per cent in December from the month before, whilst US Retail Sales on the other hand in December were up 0.5 per cent, and compared with the prior year were 4.7 per cent up. UK and Eurozone inflation figures both came in at 2.7 per cent. This week has seen President Obama inaugurated for a second term, where he outlined his economic plans, including tackling problems such as the fast growing net-debt (as a result of retirees), crumbling infrastructure and need for education/training. Back in the Eurozone, the difficulties continue, where France for example has seen continuing unemployment problems (with a rate of 10.3 per cent having risen for 19 consecutive months to approach a 15-year high), and which doesn’t look to be helped by an agreement to allow companies to cut work time and pay as demand slows, and extending benefits and raising a tax on employers. The week ahead sees UK December unemployment figures, IMF World Economic Outlook update and UK GDP Q4 first estimate being announced, and the World Economic Forum in Davos also commences.

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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.

ABC Half Year Trading Update, ALK Trading update, ATC Lease Option, BNO agreement with Telefónica and trading update, BMY Interim Management Statement, BGL Prefeasibility Study, CAP Funding Award, CGNR Excellent flotation results, CNS Trading update, CRW Trading update, EKF Trading update, EVO Bid situation, FIP Diurnal enrolls first patient into trial, IDEA Healthcare Contract Wins and New Appointments, INTQ Trading Update, NET trading update, NEW Drilling Update, NYO Drilling and Trading update, PRM Trading Statement, RTG Trading update, SVR Trading update, SQS Trading update, SUN to benefit from £5.05m RGF Grant, SYM Trading Update, TRS Indonesian acquisition, THAL Ecuador Contract, Wipes approval in China

Abcam (LON:ABC 363p/£720.90m)
Abcam, a global leader in the supply of protein research tools, this morning announced a trading update ahead of its results for the six months ended 31 December 2012. The business has performed well despite the continued pressures on centrally funded research budgets. In the US, which is the largest market, the postponement of a federal decision on future levels of research expenditure until the end of next month means that the uncertainty and its impact on revenue growth will continue. Nevertheless Abcam expects to report revenue growth in the period of approximately 28 per cent, or 30 per cent on a constant currency basis, which, taking into account the unaudited revenues of Epitomics and Ascent for the same period last year, represents underlying growth at constant currency of just over 12 per cent. At 31 December 2012 the catalogue comprised 102,288 products, a 25 per cent increase on 31 December 2011. It is particularly pleasing that the catalogue now includes over 4,100 rabbit monoclonal antibodies (RabMAb®), sales of which are encouraging. The integration of the Epitomics business is proceeding well, with almost two-thirds of all RabMAb® catalogue sales now being fulfilled through the Abcam platform. Abcam plans to continue extending the range of RabMAbs® whilst building awareness of their capabilities and their attractiveness to the research community. The positive impact of the addition of the Epitomics business means that gross margins for the six month period are expected to have increased over those reported for the comparable period. Tight cost control remains a feature of the business together with targeted investments aimed at the delivery of future growth. The Company will report its interim results for the period in early March 2013.

Alkane Energy (LON:ALK 28p/£28.28m)
Alkane Energy, the independent gas to power producer, has reported that it expects results for the year ending December 2012 will be in line with market expectations. Trading during the year was encouraging, with output increasing 19 per cent year-on-year and expects to deliver full year electricity output of circa 167GWh (2011: 140GWh). In H2 2012, output increase by 44 per cent to circa 101MWh compared with H2 2011. This increase reflects the contribution of the seven sites acquired following the successful acquisition of Greenpark Energy Ltd. which was completed on 26 April 2012. These sites are producing greater output than originally anticipated. Electricity pricing has shown greater stability over recent months and as at 31 December 2012, approximately 68 per cent of the expected 2013 output is contracted at an average price of GBP54/MWh. In December 2012, Alkane was granted planning permission to extract natural gas at Nooks Farm, Staffordshire to generate electricity using the Company’s core gas to power skills. Preparation for drilling has commenced and the drill programme is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013. The Nooks Farm site has estimated contingent resources of 1.5bcf of gas, which is expected to provide 2MW electricity output for up to 15 years.

Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC 0.29p/£11.22m)
Atlantic Coal, the opencast coal production and processing company with activities in Pennsylvania, USA, announced that it has exercised its lease option over the fully permitted 410 acre Pott & Bannon anthracite mining property in New Castle Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Further details of the lease option agreement are contained in the Company’s announcement on 3 January 2012. Atlantic Coal’s Managing Director, Steve Best, said: “We intend to pursue an early route to production at the Property and are currently in the process of producing a detailed mine plan and updated Reserve report. We intend to commence operations over the next 12 months and envisage this to be a stand-alone project, benefitting from excellent local infrastructure and robust regional demand. Additionally, with only 25 miles separating Pott & Bannon from our existing Stockton Colliery, where we recently reported record production, we believe that we will be able to take advantage of the potential synergies that exist with our current operations.  Importantly, we also continue with our due diligence process over additional anthracite assets in Pennsylvania, further details of which are contained in the Company’s announcements on 15 February 2012 and 29 October 2012. These are in line with our long-term strategy of increasing the Company’s reserves and production profile, particularly in the Pennsylvania Anthracitic Belt.”

Bango (LON:BGO 211p/£88.06m)
The mobile payments and analytics Company announced that it has signed a Global Framework Agreement with Telefónica Digital and also separately announced a general update for the nine month period to 31 December 2012. Over the course of the period Bango continued to expand on its commercial relationships and extend its geographic reach – including into several emerging markets. Following the successful fundraising of £3m in May 2012, Bango executed on its plan to prepare for significant scaling-up in future transaction volumes; Bango made key hires to boost its executive team, invested in its data  centres and operational teams, and continued to innovate in its payment platform and analytics products. Ray Anderson, Chief Executive Officer said: “…We are delighted to have built such client momentum across our marketplace, and are pleased to see it continuing into 2013…At the beginning of 2012 we announced that our focus was on preparing for growth with key new payment customers such as Amazon and Facebook. Additionally, Bango Analytics transaction volumes have continued to grow, and Analytics is seeing interest from new customers, particularly those who want to understand web to App monetization…Bango sees significant opportunities for growth through the roll-out of services with our established partners, as well as in emerging markets, where limited access to credit cards and bank accounts alongside the penetration of non-Apple operating systems benefit carrier-billing. We therefore continue to view the future with confidence.” Bango also announced a Global Mobile Payments Partnership with Telefónica, combining Bango’s frictionless payment experience with Telefónica’s BlueVia Payment APIs (Application Programming Interface). By integrating the single BlueVia billing API into the Bango Payments Platform, app stores will benefit from Bango’s enhanced user experience for mobile devices, which is designed to generate higher payment conversion rates, especially from Wi-Fi-connected and other “off-network” devices.  This is particularly important for the future of mobile payments as more than half of smartphones browsing app stores use Wi-Fi connections. The ability to pay for digital goods and services via a mobile phone bill or prepay credit is a key way for content owners and developers to fully monetize their products. This is especially the case in developing markets, such as Latin America, where penetration of bank accounts and credit cards is very low.

Bloomsbury Publishing (LON:BMY 123.75p/£91.79m)
Bloomsbury Publishing last week issued its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period 1 September 2012 to date. In the four months ended 31 December 2012, Group operating profits from title sales were up year on year because of lower relative costs of production in the new digital environment and a lower returns rate as the proportion of online sales increased, in spite of a 2 per cent decrease in title sales.  Key title sales (which excludes Rights & Services) in this period have come from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things and J.K.Rowling’s Hogwarts Library.  E-book sales continue to show good momentum growing by 58 per cent year on year, in the four months ended 31 December 2012, particularly in the UK. The recent expansion of the Information division has contributed to an increasing pipeline of Rights & Services contracts. Budgeted income includes £2.7m from contracts scheduled to be completed between now and the year end. In the Academic & Professional division, the sales of Bloomsbury Professional’s new online Tax Planner Service, which launched in October 2012, are ahead of expectations. The division has also just launched a bespoke e-book platform exclusively for the use of PricewaterhouseCoopers staff around the world to download e-book versions of their various Manual of Accounting titles. Bloomsbury continues to expand areas of its business in which a significant amount of content has been amassed through the formation of leading online portals or Knowledge Hubs such as Drama Online, which will be launched in February 2013, and the Churchill Archive, which launched in October 2012. At 31 December 2012 the Group had net cash of £7.7m (31 August 2012: £10.6m). Bloomsbury has been very active acquiring further rights and is pleased to announce that in 2013 it will be publishing the two major potential bestsellers: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini and Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel The Signature of All Things.

Bullabulling Gold (LON:BGL 6p/£18.15m)
Bullabulling Gold, whose primary asset is the wholly owned Bullabulling Gold Project located near Coolgardie in Western Australia, has announced that the preliminary mining schedule and cash cost estimate produced during the previous quarter strongly supports the financial viability of the Bullabulling Gold Project and progression to full feasibility study. The production schedule indicates that 1.95m ounces of gold would be recovered from an initial mine life of just over ten years. The initial estimate of average life of mine cash costs was A$1,104/oz. However in line with previous guidance, cash costs in early years will be materially lower with 650,000 ounces produced in the first three years at an estimated cost of A$884/oz. Pre-production capital costs are expected to be in the range of $297m to $333m, with capital payback achieved in the third year of operations.

Clean Air Power (LON:CAP 7.38p/£13.06m)
Clean Air Power, the developer and global leader in Dual-Fuel engine management software for heavy duty vehicles, announced that it has been awarded R&D funding by the Niche Vehicle Network’s collaborative research and development programme. The funding award will be shared with project partner Eminox Ltd, a world-class developer and manufacturer of advanced exhaust after-treatment systems. The project will deliver prototype after-treatment packaging for use on Euro 6 compliant Dual-Fuel heavy duty vehicles, expected to be completed in Q1 2013. Packaging the Exhaust after-treatment systems is an important step towards applying their Dual-Fuel technology to Euro 6 vehicles and the Company believes that this award is recognition of the place that Dual-Fuel technology holds in the UK’s low-carbon vehicle roadmap.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (LON:CGNR 1.4p/£3.79m)*
Conroy, the gold exploration and development Company developing a gold mine at Clontibret in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, announced further excellent results of the Metallurgical test work by Goldfields Ltd. These relate to the Flotation test work and the results, which include gold flotation recovery of 90 per cent, are highly positive. The gold flotation recovery, at 90 per cent, is higher than assumed in the Scoping Study. This is most encouraging both technically and financially. The results also indicate an 8 per cent sulphur grade in concentrate whereas in the Scoping Study a grade of 12 per cent had been assumed. The lower sulphur grade in the concentrate is highly advantageous as it will reduce process operating costs. The Company estimates that the effect of these results would increase the IRR from 49.4 per cent (in the Scoping Study) to over 55 per cent and would increase the NPV from $72.3m to over $90m using the base case gold price of $1,372 per ounce as used by Tetra Tech in their Scoping Study and thus substantially increase the overall financial attractiveness of the project. The importance of these tests is that they simulate what might be achieved when the processing plant of the mine is in continuous operation. Steady state conditions were achieved as soon as the fifth and sixth cycles. This is a very satisfactory outcome as the results suggest an efficient and smooth running flotation process. Commenting, Chairman, Professor Richard Conroy said: “Further metallurgical test work is ongoing. The results to date are very positive and fit in with the Company’s plan to bring a mine into production in three years’ time.”

Corero (LON:CNS 24p/£14.07m)
The AIM listed network security and business software provider last week announced an update on trading for the year ended 31 December 2012. Group revenue for the full year ended 31 December 2012 is expected to be in the range $20.0m to $21.0m and show solid growth over the previous year (2011: $18.0m).  The Corero Network Security (CNS) business will, in a year of significant internal change and market repositioning, and adverse macroeconomic factors in Europe, report revenue in line with revenue reported in 2011 ($11.0m).  The Corero Business Systems business (CBS) has delivered a strong year-on-year performance in terms of both revenue and profit growth. The Group’s consolidated operating loss before depreciation, amortisation and financing is expected to be in the range $3.0m to $3.5m (2011: profit $0.4m) reflecting the investment in CNS and including a $0.3m unrealised exchange loss on intercompany balances (2011: $0.1m unrealised exchange gain). The Group had a gross cash balance of $4.9m at 31 December 2012 (2011: $6.7m), with borrowings of $6.2m (2011: $5.8m). The CBS division performed very strongly in 2012 and the Group expects this to continue into 2013.  Significant progress has been made in the CNS division with the focus now being to deliver revenue growth, with a differentiated network security product and services offering, through a channel centric sales model. Accordingly, Ashley Stephenson, who joined in March 2012 as Executive Vice President Product Marketing and Strategy, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the CNS division and will lead this drive. Corero is committed to continuing to invest in the CNS division, both in terms of sales and marketing, and its First Line of Defense next generation product which the Group envisages will broaden significantly its addressable market. Corero will release preliminary results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2012 at the end of March 2013.

Craneware (LON:CRW 405p/£109.32m)
Craneware, the Edinburgh headquartered provider of automated revenue integrity solutions for the US healthcare market, provided a trading update this week for the six months to 31 December 2012, in which it stated that it expected revenue to grow to $20.1m (H1 2012: $18.8m) with further growth at the adjusted EBITDA level of approximately 15 per cent compared to H12012 of $4.65m. The Company stated that these are in line with its own expectations and that the growth in revenue in particular has resulted from the increased levels of sales activity mentioned at the time of final results back in September 2012. Fiscal and regulatory pressures in US hospitals have helped drive interest in the Company’s suite of software solutions.

EKF Diagnostics (LON:EKF 27.75p/£74.11m)
EKF Diagnostics, the point-of-care diagnostics business, has reported that in the financial year ending December 2012 unaudited revenues rose around 20 per cent to £26.1m. Adjusted EBITDA for the period is expected to be ahead of previously upgraded market consensus, showing an improvement of nearly double that of the previous year. This outperformance in adjusted EBITDA is a direct result of the Board’s continued sales focus on higher margin products. Cash generation was strong and cash as at 31 December 2012 was £4.2m. Sales of higher margin reagents, particularly Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) have continued to perform strongly. The second half also benefitted from the growing contribution of HemoPoint H2 instruments and cuvette sales through Alere in the US. In 2012 Alere sold 2,460 HemoPoint H2 instruments into the North American market compared to 608 sold by Stanbio in the previous year, which demonstrates the significant growth opportunity in the US, particularly as sales through Alere only began on 15 April 2012. At the end of 2012, EKF received a further order from the Instituto Mexicano Del Seguro Social, the Mexican Institute of Social Security, for cuvettes for the HemoPoint H2.

Evocutis (LON:EVO 0.8p/£1.4m)
Evocutis, which is focused on advanced laboratory and clinical evaluations of skincare products and subject to a formal sale process as defined in the Takeover Code since December 2012, has secured ten new contracts with a total value of £280,000, including early direct sales of its LabSkin(TM) living skin equivalent. The contract values range from £9,000 for early exploratory research to £88,000 for larger scale product development analysis. The contracts, all with well known global consumer healthcare companies, are expected to be delivered over a two to six month period.

Fusion IP (LON:FIP 59p/£42.98m)*
The university commercialisation company which turns university research into business announced that Diurnal has successfully enrolled the first patient into the CATCH (Chronocort(R) As Treatment for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia) trial. Based in Cardiff, Diurnal is developing a novel approach to drug delivery that will help patients suffering from reduced levels of the key hormone cortisol (hydrocortisone). Chronocort(R) is a modified release therapy that delivers hydrocortisone in a manner that mimics the body’s normal circadian rhythm (the body’s natural 24 hour hormone cycle). This therapeutic approach has the potential to help patients suffering from diseases due to cortisol deficiency: congenital adrenal hyperplasia and adrenal insufficiency. Each of these diseases requires life-long treatment and Diurnal’s novel approach to drug delivery has the potential to significantly improve patients’ lives. Chronocort(R) has already received two related Orphan Drug designations from the European Medicines Agency, which affords ten years of market exclusivity after the grant of marketing authorisation in Europe. Fusion’s shareholding in Diurnal is 43.1 per cent.

Ideagen (LON:IDEA 24.5p/£29.7m)
Ideagen a supplier of compliance based information management, announced that it has signed £280k of new contracts and has appointed two business development professionals within its recently acquired healthcare business, Plumtree Group Limited.  The Company also announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2012. Revenue increased by 51 per cent to £2.58m (2011: £1.71m). Adjusted PBT increased by 44 per cent to £0.69m (2011: £0.48m) and adjusted diluted EPS increased by 15 per cent to 0.63p (2011: 0.55p). Net cash fell to £1.21m (30 April 2012: £1.39m.) David Hornsby, CEO, commented: “We have made further progress during the first half of this year in terms of operating profit, whilst making considerable investment in our product, sales and technical resources. These results are therefore comfortably in line with the board’s expectations. Furthermore, our increasing recurring revenues, new contract wins within the healthcare sector and the acquisition of Plumtree Group Ltd underpin our confidence in the outlook for the rest of the year.”

InternetQ (LON:INTQ 217.5p/£75.24m)
InternetQ, a provider of mobile marketing and digital entertainment solutions for mobile network operators and brands, issued a trading update for the twelve months ended 31 December 2012. The Board reported that InternetQ has continued to generate strong levels of organic growth during 2012 and they anticipate revenues to be more than €70m, in line with market expectations; representing organic growth of over 45 per cent. Margins have improved in the second half and EBITDA and after tax profitability is therefore expected to be ahead of market expectations for the year to 31 December 2012. The Group’s strong performance continues to be driven by its core Mobile Marketing and Mobile Entertainment activities, including InternetQ’s social media and entertainment platform, whose revenues are up 90 per cent year on year. Key growth regions remain South East Asia, Africa and Russia where mobile marketing and mobile entertainment services are established as a powerful business development tool. InternetQ maintains a strong balance sheet with cash in excess of €9.5m, providing sufficient capacity for the further significant growth expected in 2013, both in Mobile Marketing and Mobile Entertainment.

Netcall (LON:NET 33.75p/£40.66m)
Leading customer engagement software provider this morning gave an update on trading for the six month period ended 31 December 2012. Trading is comfortably in line with management expectations, with order in flows and double digit sales growth maintained. The Serengeti acquisition is now contributing to Group earnings. The Company has a strong cash position, at 31 December 2012 net cash balance increased to £8.2m (31 October 2012: £7.7m) Henrik Bang, CEO commented: “…Along with new customer wins such as North Wales Housing, we are pleased with the level of cross-sales achieved in the period such as the sale of an Eden solution to The Warranty Group, an existing workforce management customer.” Netcall will be announcing interim results for the 6 month period ended 31 December 2012 on 20 February 2013.

New World Oil and Gas (NEW 9.75p /£35m)
New World Oil and Gas, the oil and gas exploration and development Company focused on Belize and Denmark, has reported that as of 21 January 2013, the Blue Creek #2A side track had drilled to a Measured Depth of 11,490 feet.  The total depth of the Well is 11,880 feet. The Well is targeting a potentially significant trap in the Hillbank and Y3, the two oil bearing formations seen in the Blue Creek#2 vertical well.  Drilling operations have been halted whenever sections of interest in the targeted Hillbank and Y3 formations have been encountered so that core samples can be taken. As a result, the rate of drilling has been slower than that anticipated in the announcement of 10 January 2013. A further update will be made once the total depth is reached, at which point a decision will be made regarding testing the Well.

Nyota Minerals (LON:NYO 3.55p/£23.46m)
Nyota Minerals, the East Africa focused gold exploration and development Company, has reported the final results of the Feeder Zone drilling programme which started in September 2012 at its Tulu Kapi Gold Project in Ethiopia. The drilling has demonstrated the potential for a significant high grade resource that would be developed via an underground mine; new high grade intersections include: 15.04g/t Au over 9.45m, 10.55g/t Au over 13.96m, 5.34g/t Au over 12.25m and 5.24g/t Au over 26m. Initial in-house estimates at the Company suggest an Inferred Resource of 1.1m tonnes at an average grade of 5.4g/t containing 188,000 ounces of gold. However, the Company is being forced to make significant cost cutting measures immediately as expenditure on the drilling and delays to the issuance of a Large Scale Mining Licence mean a shortfall in working capital for the quarter ahead based on its prior budget. The Company is in discussions with a number of potential funding parties and expects to be able to make a further announcement very shortly.

Proteome Sciences (LON:PRM 55.88p/£107.56m)
Following the Company’s announcement on 31 December 2012, regarding the improved cognitive function demonstrated by Proteome’s CK1D compounds, the Board is pleased by the strong interest it has received from pharmaceutical companies, and is actively pushing the CK1D programme forward with the pharmaceutical industry in order to be able to bring the compounds to clinical trials. The Directors are encouraged by the trading prospects for the PS Biomarker Services(TM) division although they are disappointed that the signing of the largest services contract negotiated by the Company to date which had been expected to close at the end of 2012 has been delayed and is now expected to be concluded in Q1 2013. As a result of this delay, there will be an adverse impact on the Company’s results for the year ended 31 December 2012 although this will have a correspondingly positive effect on the Company’s expectations for FY13. Christopher Pearce, the CEO, has confirmed his willingness to provide additional working capital should it be required, by way of a short term loan of up to £1m. This would be repayable post receipt of the proceeds of the major contract referred to above. The Board expects strong revenue growth across the Company’s three main divisions in 2013 and looks to the future with confidence.

ReThink Group (LON:RTG 6.62p/£7.56m)
Rethink, a recruitment and consulting company, provided a trading update. In September, the Company announced that full year results were expected to be substantially below market forecasts as a result of declines in permanent revenue in the Recruitment Division. Since then, there was a temporary return to more normal levels, but overall activity remained subdued and significantly below management expectations during Q4 2012. Management now expect the Group to report a loss for the year. With increased investment and action taken throughout H2 2012, the Board is confident that the cost base of the Company is now at an appropriate level, and strong trading in 2013 has resulted in the Board looking cautiously optimistic for the year ahead.

Service Power Technologies (LON:SVR 4.25p/£8.05m)
AIM listed market leader in field management provided a trading update for the year to 31 December 2012, in which it stated that revenues for the year are expected to be approximately 17 per cent lower at £11.1m (2011: £13.3m), whilst an EBITDA loss of approximately £1.3m is expected, and loss before tax of approximately £1.8m. A net cash balance of approximately £4.5mis expected at the year end. Interestingly, previously protracted contract negotiations for several significant contracts are now progressing positively and the Company expects to conclude contracts worth over £1m in revenue for 2013 by the end of the month. Earlier in the month, the Company announced the appointment of Marne Martin as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), having previously been CFO of AIM listed Norcon (LON:NCON 21.5p/£10.49m), a UK based telecommunications and defence consulting company, and President at East West Resources Corporation and Digicel Holdings Ltd.

SQS (LON:SQS 249p/£69.45m)
Specialist in software quality services, provided a trading update for the year to 31 December 2012 in which the Company stated that it expects revenues to be slightly ahead of consensus forecasts largely as a result of a higher share of contractor service delivery (though this is typically lower margin business). Some of the larger managed services contracts had elected to suspend their extended engagements for a period prior to the end of 2012 in order to contain their expenditures for the year, resulting in approximately EUR1m lower revenue, therefore resulting in a PBT which is expected to be below consensus. Order intake during 2012 was EUR101m against EUR67m during 2011 with an order backlog (revenues still to be delivered) of EUR98m at the year end, whilst on the balance sheet the net debt position at 31 December 2012 was circa EUR7m against EUR12.3m as at 31 December 2011.

Surgical Innovations Group (LON:SUN 6.88p/£27.82m)
Surgical Innovations (SI), the designer and manufacturer of innovative medical devices, announced it has formally signed the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) Final Grant Offer Letter, worth up to £5.05m to SI in Government funding. The grant will be used to develop a state of the art research and development facility and clinical training centre, with a reasonable expectation of creating over 300 jobs in the Leeds City region. The RGF is a £2.4bn fund operating across England to be invested over a three year period. The fund supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity. As part of the agreement SI will commit to £8.7m in capital investment by the end of 2015. The Company also announced that the second batch of 5mm PretzelFlex® was shipped under the CareFusion agreement in December as expected.

Symphony Environmental Technologies (LON:SYM 5p/£6.4m)
Symphony Environmental Technologies, the specialist in advanced plastics technologies announced a trading update for the financial year ending 31 December 2012. This was further to the announcement made on 5 December 2012 when it had announced that a trading loss of approximately £1.1m was expected for the financial year. Revenues for the month of December were significantly less than anticipated on 5 December, and as such the trading loss for the year will be materially higher than £1.1m. The Directors believe that the fall in revenues and increased trading loss is principally a result of delays to a number of new large potential territories from which initial d2w(R) additive sales were expected. As such, they regard this as a matter of timing as initial shipments for these new territories are now expected during the first quarter of 2013. Following the statement in December, the Group has received initial orders from three of the new territories with positive indications of interest for future sales, albeit the timing is not yet confirmed. Additionally there was a delay in shipments to some existing territories around the year end period. The Group continues to work hard to establish its global distribution network and leverage changes to legislation in favour of controlled-life plastic technology.

Tarsus (LON:TRS 202p/£192.77m)
The international business-to-business media group has agreed to acquire 51 per cent of Indonesian exhibition organiser PT Infrastructure Asia (PTIA) from PT Event Pro International. PTIA currently owns and organises three annual business-to-business exhibitions and one seminar series in Indonesia. Tarsus will pay an initial cash consideration on completion of US$0.5m (approximately £0.3m) for the 51 per cent interest, with estimated total deferred payments of approximately US$2.4m (approximately £1.5m) in aggregate during 2014 and 2015.  Tarsus and PTIA have conditional put and call options at various points in 2016 and 2017 in respect of the outstanding 49 per cent shareholding in PTIA. The total consideration for 100 per cent of PTIA has been capped at US$23m. The acquisition provides Tarsus with an important hub in the fast growing Indonesian exhibition market.  It will enable the Group to develop a range of infrastructure sector exhibitions and provide a platform with which to launch a number of new exhibitions, primarily drawing on Tarsus’s existing brands. The founders and the existing management will continue to run the business post acquisition. The consideration will be met from Tarsus’s existing cash resources. It is expected to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year ending 31 December 2013 and thereafter. For the year ended 31 December 2011, PTIA recorded an unaudited break even profit before tax.

Thalassa Holdings (LON:THAL  56p/£6.64m)
Thalassa announced that its subsidiary, WGP Energy Services Ltd., has entered into a contract with SMG Ecuador, the Ecuador business of State Sevmorgeo Company, the Russian geological sea survey company, with an initial value of US$4.175m. The contract involves the provision and operation of Thalassa’s Portable Modular Source System (PMSS(TM)) as part of seismic data acquisition surveys being conducted in Ecuador by SMG Ecuador. The surveys are scheduled to commence on 14 February 2013 and last until 15 June 2013. Work on pre-mobilisation is already underway. Thalassa’s Chairman, Duncan Soukup, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the SMG Group again, following the successful surveys in the Arctic in 2011 and 2012, on this occasion outside of Europe during a period when we had not budgeted for any work.”

Tristel (LON:TSTL 32p/£12.80m)
Tristel, the manufacturer of infection prevention, contamination control and hygiene products, announced that it has received a licence from the Health Department of the People’s Republic of China to import and sell the Tristel Wipes System. The system comprises three individual wipes that perform the functions of cleaning the device, disinfecting the device and then rinsing it to remove any chemical residues before use on the next patient, and is able to achieve high-level disinfection in less than two minutes on non-lumened medical devices. Examples of such devices include flexible endoscopes used for ear, nose and throat investigations; intra-cavity ultrasound probes used in urology, obstetrics and gynaecology; instrumentation used in IVF clinics; ultrasound probes that image the heart in cardiology, and in ophthalmology. Also announced was the publication of two articles in peer-reviewed journals that describe the benefits of Tristel products, in The Laryngoscope, the journal of The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, and the other being publication of a study undertaken in the Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong.

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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.

15 January 2013

This week: A healthy range of products from Fitbug, Sweet update from Maple Energy, Top results from BEST

Another good week last week in the financial markets with the FTSE 100 gaining 30 points to close at 6,120 and the AIM All share gaining 15 points to close at 735. UK Interest rate rates continued at 0.5 per cent, and similarly in Europe the ECB continued interest rates at 0.75 per cent. On the key indicators, UK industrial production figures grew by 0.3 per cent in November whilst construction sector output contracted 3.4 per cent in the month and UK consumer price inflation held steady at 2.7 per cent in December. Talk of a triple dip recession in the UK continues, of concern being the construction sector and industrial production output numbers. Whilst there was an announcement about new hires in Solihull at Jaguar, losses were seen elsewhere with 800 announced last week at Honda in Swindon, and HMV has put 4,000+ jobs at risk. UK retail figures appear on the whole to be reading out as a mixed bag, with winners and losers, which could make for an exciting 2013 retail roller coaster. The week ahead sees Eurozone and US inflation announcements, together with UK retail sales figures on Friday.

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APH Pre-Close Trading Update, AGL New development, ANCR Trading update and management change, BEST Interim results, BLUR Q4 update, CLNR Awarded Licences, CNR Drilling and Trenching Update, CSLT Update on financial position, FITB product launches at CES, GOAL Trading Update, GCO Placing and Open Offer and management change, HYD Trading Update, IKA Interims, INS Trading Update, MPLE market update, NETD Trading update, NCT Admission to AIM, OMG Demonstration, PSL Demonstration, POS New Contract Win with Glencore, POL Komahun Gold update, QPL Pre-Close Statement and Trading Update, SPH Trading Update, TEG Trading update, TYR Directorate Change

Alliance Pharma (LON:APH 32.25p/£78.38m)
Alliance Pharma, the speciality pharmaceutical company, announced its pre-close trading update ahead of its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2012. Turnover for 2012 is expected to be £44.9m (2011: £46.0m). There was a record increase of £1.1m in HydromolTM sales, taking the sales for 2012 to £4.7m, representing growth of 29 per cent over the previous year. The acquisitions completed during 2012, Opus Group Holdings and the antimalarial brands purchased from AstraZeneca, performed in line with expectations. As a result of a stronger than expected gross margin rate, pre-tax profits are expected to be slightly ahead of current market expectations. Alliance’s preliminary results for 2012 are expected to be announced on 21 March 2013.

ANGLE (LON:AGL 69.5p/£28.30m)
ANGLE, the specialist medtech company, announced yesterday a new development in its Parsortix non-invasive cancer diagnostic product. The Company has developed a process for recovering captured cells from the Parsortix cassette, which is known for its ability to capture and count very rare circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from the blood of cancer patients. This new process has the potential for the cells captured by the Parsortix cassette to be analysed by a variety of contemporary molecular techniques, greatly increases the size of the market available to ANGLE (especially given that there is no device currently in the market designed to recover CTCs). Shares in the Company were up from 36.95p on Monday morning to close at 65.35p. Also announced then a day after and this morning was news that the Company has received a settlement payment in respect of the deferred consideration due on the sale of its portfolio company Acolyte Biomedica Limited to the amount of US$286,226. Shares this morning since the RNS were up to 76.5p. Angle has therefore seen a rise of 107 per cent this week so far.

Animalcare Group (LON:ANCR 146.5p/£30.39m)
A leading supplier of veterinary medicines provided a trading update in which it stated that trading from continuing operations in the first six months of the year was strong and in line with market expectations. Revenues are expected to be circa £6.1m, some 13 per cent higher, whilst gross profit is expected to be some 16 per cent higher.  The re-introduction of Buprecare ampoules, with the Company believing that it will add to the strong sales of the Buprecare multi-dose vial launched just ten months ago, means that the total market in the UK for each dosage form is estimated at between £1.5m and £1.8m after all discounts. The Company holds circa £2.9m of cash balances at the end of 2012 (up from £2.3m as at end of June 2012). The Company also announced that Group CEO, Stephen Wildridge is stepping down, and is to be replaced by Dr. Iain Menneer, currently Managing Director of Animalcare Ltd, who joined in December 2003.

Best of the Best (LON:BEST 20p/£1.87m)
Best of the Best runs competitions to win luxury prizes online and at retail locations and this week announced its interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2012. Revenue increased by 20.3 per cent to £3.22m (2011: £2.68m) and profit before tax was £0.01m (2011: loss £0.12m). At the period end, the Company had a cash balance of £1.22m and net assets of £2.69m. Online revenues increased by 36.9 per cent to £1.21m representing 38.6 per cent of total revenue. The Tender Offer was completed in November 2011, resulting in £1.18m being returned to shareholders. William Hindmarch, Chief Executive, said: “During the period we made significant changes to our core product, the Supercar Competition. This new competition style with its much wider choice of cars, price points and increased frequency has helped the online business in particular, which has recorded its highest ever levels of both revenue and transactions volume.”

blur (Group) (LON:BLUR 149.5p/£36.71m)
Operators of the leading Global Services Exchange at blurgroup.com, announced an update on Q4 metrics and a continuation of impressive quarter on quarter growth. The period saw the highest ever number of briefs with 250 submitted, compared with 215 in the previous quarter and an average brief value for the quarter was $16,050 compared with just under $13,500 for Q3. The technology sector was the most prolific user of the exchange. Q4 saw the most projects kicked off in any quarter, with 89 projects completed, an increase of 30 per cent from the previous quarter and 230 per cent on the prior year. At the end of Q4 there were 23,275 experts on the eight exchanges compared with 21,560 at the end of Q3. Headcount was increased to 40 to support aggressive growth targets in 2013.

Cluff Natural Resources (LON:CLNR 4.38p/£3.81m)
Cluff Natural Resources, an investment company founded by Algy Cluff and focused on oil & gas and mining assets, has reported that The Coal Authority, sponsored by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change, has awarded the Company two conditional Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) licences totalling 111 hectares in the UK, by way of an option for lease and non-exclusive exploration licences for two UCG prospects in the UK. The Loughor Estuary Project, located in Carmarthenshire, Wales, consists of a 42 hectare licence area and the Dee Estuary Project, located on the borders of Merseyside and Northern Wales, consists of a 69 hectare licence area. The Company intends to use the Controlled Retracting Injection Point (CRIP) method to extract the energy content of the coal and supply the resulting syngas to customers for a variety of uses.

Condor Gold (LON:CNR 169.5p/£56.61m)
Condor, a gold exploration company focused on delineating a large commercial reserve on its 100 per cent-owned, CIM compliant Mineral Resource of 2,375,000 oz gold at 4.6g/t at La India Project in Nicaragua, announced the results of the initial 2,790.6m of the current phase of resource infill drilling at the La India Vein Set and an update on trenching and drilling activity on the America Vein Set.  23 drillholes for 3,462m were completed on La India open pit resource area to convert the existing resource from Inferred to Indicated category. Assay results from an initial 19 of these 23 drillholes for 2,790.6m of infill drilling have confirmed gold mineralisation and outlined an additional high-grade shoot in the North of the India-California trend. Best amalgamated drill intercepts through stopes of the historic La India Mine show: 11.95m at 5.72g/t gold, 17.15m at 4.16g/t gold and 18.00m at 4.18g/t gold. A trench intercept of 10m at 5.41g/t gold has extended wide zones of gold mineralisation on the America Vein to at least 600m strike length. Further trench testing of the Escondido Vein on the America Vein Set is underway to test an additional 200m strike length. A 2,000m drill programme is underway at historic America Mine to test for wall rock mineralisation on the America Vein Set with one hole completed. Mark Child, Chairman and CEO commented: “Condor has made good progress with the completion of 3,462m drilling of a 7,000m drill programme designed with the objective of defining a total of 800,000 oz gold within the Indicated Category by targeting the conversion of the majority of the Inferred resource to Indicated within the open pit shell (currently 534,000oz is within the Indicated Category)… a 2,000m drill programme has commenced with a second rig on site and due to start in the next few days. The objective of the drill programme on America historic mine is to repeat the success of a 954,000 oz at 3.6g/t open pit resource on La India historic mine, which is just over 1km to the south.”

Cosalt (LON:CSLT 0.85p/£3.44m)
Noting recent speculation regarding the Group’s affairs and potential disposals of Group businesses, the Company gave an update regarding its financial position and the on-going discussions with its lenders and the trustees of the Group’s pension scheme with regard to a solution. The Company also confirmed that whilst those discussions are not yet concluded, it is in discussions with third parties regarding the sale of the operating divisions, Cosalt Offshore and Cosalt Workwear. Discussions with all parties are continuing and there can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached, either with creditors regarding a solution to the Group’s financial position or with potential acquirers of the operating businesses. The Directors remain focused on reaching a solution which will ensure the long term future of both operating businesses; safeguarding jobs and ensuring continuity of service to customers and suppliers. The Directors also acknowledge the important role of these two businesses within their local communities. However, the Directors believe it is unlikely there would be any value attributable to shareholders due to the level of the Group’s net indebtedness and pension scheme liabilities.

Fitbug Holdings (LON:FITB 1.25p/£2.11m)*
AIM listed provider of online personal health and well-being services last week announced the launch of three innovative, Bluetooth-compatible products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a major technology-related trade show. ‘Fitbug Orb’ -The first button-sized, Bluetooth Smart, wireless Fitbug activity tracker with seven wear options, a choice of colours, the ability to track sleep and a US price of  $49.99 was launched, as well as ‘Fitbug Wow’ – Bluetooth Smart Scales, US price of $79.99 and ‘Fitbug Luv’ – Bluetooth Smart Blood Pressure Monitor, US price of $119.99. The unveiling of these new products, which follows swiftly on the back of the launch of Fitbug Air, the world’s first Bluetooth Low Energy Fitbug activity tracker (see announcement dated 17 September 2012), is a significant step for Fitbug.  The Company now has a fully integrated range of mobile health products in line with its strategy to increase its presence in the Connected Health Market, which is particularly buoyant in the US.

Goals Soccer Centres (LON:GOAL 124p/£63.30m)
Goals Soccer Centres, the operator of outdoor 5-a-side soccer centres, announced a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2012, in advance of the release of the Company’s Final Results on 26 February 2013. Trading for the year was in line with market expectations with overall sales increasing by 6 per cent to £32m (2011: £30.4m) and like for like sales increasing by 2 per cent. The Company successfully appealed the HMRC’s decision to charge VAT on league income during the year and this increased like for like sales by 2 per cent. In order to focus on strong cash generation and enhance the return on capital from recently opened centres, the Board has decided to postpone further new site openings. This strategic move will enable the Board to meet the key objective of using strong cash flow to further reduce net bank debt which has been reduced to £50m from £54m at 30 June 2012. Subject to satisfactory prevailing economic conditions, the Board intends to return to opening additional centres from 2014.

Green Compliance (LON:GCO 3.25p/£1.18m)
Green Compliance, a leading provider of compliance-related business support services, announced a placing and open offer to raise up to approximately £2.1m. It has conditionally placed shares at a price of 2p per share in order to raise gross proceeds of approximately £1.6m. Placees will also be granted warrants to subscribe for two new ordinary shares for every share for which they subscribe pursuant to the Placing. The Company announces an Open Offer of Ordinary Shares to its Shareholders on the basis of seven New Ordinary Shares for every ten existing Ordinary Shares held at a at a price of 2p which could generate gross proceeds of up to £0.5m to the Company. Given that the Company’s share price has fallen below its nominal value, the Company is also proposing a reorganisation of its share capital so that every ordinary 50p share is divided into one ordinary share of 1p and 49 deferred shares of 1p each. This follows news last week that John Prowse resigned as Chief Executive, and was replaced by Bob Holt, who is Chairman of the Board.

Hydro International (LON:HYD 124.5p/£17.88m)
Hydro International, a leading provider of environmentally sustainable and innovative products for the control and treatment of water, today announced an update on trading. Although economic conditions remain difficult, particularly in the general construction sector in the UK, the Group has secured the order intake required to achieve revenue and profit objectives for the 2012 financial year. The Group is therefore pleased to confirm that the financial results for the 12 months to 31 December 2012 will be in-line with market expectations. However, due to the approaching conclusion in 2013 and early 2014 of three major long-term contracts with Thames Water secured by the UK Waste water business in 2010 and 2011, the Board anticipates that 2013 revenues and adjusted profit before tax will be materially below 2012 levels. The majority of these three projects, with a total order value of £23m have been delivered over the period from 2010 to 2012, and there are no new projects of such size in the current pipeline. Other new order input in the UK Waste water business during 2012 was significantly higher than in the previous year, as the AMP 5 programme got underway; these orders will continue to ship during 2013.  Hydro also achieved a number of significant project wins during 2012 including the previously announced CDN$4m contract at Bonnybrook WWTP, Calgary, Canada. In particular, the Board is seeing encouraging growth in the US Storm water business as a result of their developing relationship with the new distribution partner, and they are building on the success in the US Waste water business with new product introductions, including the GritCup and SpiraSnail. The growth anticipated across the Group will not, however, make up for the successful conclusion of the Thames Water projects, giving rise to the Board’s view that revenue and profitability in 2013 will be materially lower than 2012 levels. In addition a number of orders received in the second half of 2012 are scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2013, so that the year will again be significantly second half weighted. Hydro will be announcing Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2012 on Tuesday 19 March 2013 and has today has also issued an announcement on forthcoming management changes.

Ilika (LON: IKA 24.5p/£11.22m)
Ilika, the advanced cleantech materials discovery company, has reported continuing revenue of £0.4m for the six months to October 2012. Whilst this is lower than the £0.8m revenue for the prior comparative period the Company expects the current strength of the business development pipeline to allow it to recognise significantly increased revenues in the second half. During the period, a key patent was granted from the US Patent and Trademark Office further protecting the Company’s high-throughput technology and an equity investment of £149,380 was received from the Carbon Trust Fund to aid commercialisation of the Company’s proprietary low cost fuel cell catalyst material. The cash balance at the end of period was £3.6m. Since November 2012, the Company has renewed a contract with world leading motor manufacturer, divested the wound care business and received a fuel cell catalyst patent in the US. The disposal of the wound care business has resulted in an on-going overhead saving of around £0.4m per annum.

Instem (LON:INS 90p/£10.59m)
Instem, a provider of IT solutions to the global early development healthcare market, announced that following the successful conclusion of several contract negotiations it expects results for the year ended 31 December 2012 to be in-line with market forecasts. License income was second-half weighted, as in previous years, and while first half revenue was marginally below that of the comparable period in 2011, the Group expects to report revenue and profit for 2012 in line with forecasts. The contracts signed in December 2012 were with some of the world’s most notable businesses in the pharmaceutical and research industries. Instem’s balance sheet remains strong with net cash of approximately £2.2m (2011: £2.9m). Due to a number of significant contracts falling in the final quarter of the year, the related cash inflow is now expected in the first quarter of 2013. The Company also announced that JOINN Laboratories has purchased its Provantis(R) preclinical software solution suite to automate processes within its China-based facilities located in Beijing and Suzhou.

Maple Energy (LON:MPLE 66p/£98.48m)
Aim listed integrated energy company with assets in Peru, announced today various updates regarding its business and operations. During December 2012, the Company received a governmental approval which allowed it to begin expanding its plantation by 877 hectares from its current size of approximately 6,532 hectares to a total of 7,409 hectares. Planting of this 877-hectare area, in which drip irrigation systems are already substantially installed, began this month, and Maple expects to plant the entire 877-hectare area during the first quarter of 2013. Subject to obtaining certain additional governmental approvals, Maple plans to continue expanding its plantation by an additional 378 hectares this year to achieve a total planned plantation size of approximately 7,787 hectares by year end. The Company expects to complete this expansion from 6,532 hectares to 7,787 hectares at a total cost of approximately US$3.3m which will result in the completion of the first phase of the plantation of the Ethanol Project. In order to increase the amount of cane harvested on a daily basis, Maple has ordered two additional mechanical harvesters and related harvesting equipment. This equipment is expected to be delivered to the Ethanol Project site during the first quarter of this year. Once Maple receives the two new harvesters, its fleet of mechanical harvesters will be increased from six to eight mechanical harvesters. With increased harvesting capabilities, the Company expects to increase the gross tonnes of sugar cane harvested and delivered to the Ethanol Plant on a daily basis which will result in an increase in ethanol production volumes. During the 60-day period ended 31 December 2012, the Ethanol Plant has been available to process sugar cane and produce ethanol for approximately 85 per cent of the time on average as compared to 79 per cent of the time on average for the 60-day period ending 19 November 2012. The approximate 15 per cent of downtime during this most recent period resulted from a combination of both planned and unplanned maintenance activities.

NetDimensions (LON:NETD 48.75p/£12.39m)
NetDimensions, the provider of performance, knowledge and learning management systems, has issued a trading update for the year ending December 2012. Revenues were up 10 per cent, at around US$13.5m for the year, which is broadly in line with market expectations. Deferred revenues are up 38 per cent at US$6.2m. Following substantial investment in global sales expansion and research and development operations, underlying profit before tax is expected to be at least US$0.1m. The Company ended the year with approximately $6.8m in cash, no debt and short-term receivables of US$5.1m. The Company started the New Year with some US$6m in deferred revenue to be recognised in 2013, its best ever opening position.

Northcote (LON:NCT 1.28p/£11.05m)
Northcote, an onshore US focused oil and gas exploration and production Company, has announced that its enlarged issued share capital began trading on AIM on 14th January, 2013, yesterday. This follows the completion of an oversubscribed placing of 100m new shares at 1 penny to raise £1m (before expenses) and the acquisition of Northcote Energy Limited. Mr. Randall J. Connally, the CEO, has also converted a US$250,000 loan into equity at the placing price. The Company has a portfolio of projects with development potential, primarily located in the reopening Mississippi Lime formation, Oklahoma and current net production of 26.4 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Funds raised will be used to fund the fracking of up to six wells in Osage County in 2013, drill two wells to develop the Company’s Layton Sand’s acreage and allow participation in a twelve well drilling programme in Woods County as well as for general working capital.

OMG (LON:OMG 38.5p/£28.08m)
The mobile motion capture (mobile mocap) technology group announced that it is preparing to bring its technology to US highways in the future, with a range of innovations from its highways technology arm, Yotta DCL. At a special event to be held in Washington DC (the Transport Research Board 92nd Annual General Meeting January 13-17 2013), Yotta DCL will launch Horizons, its innovative Software as a Service (SaaS) web-based software that enables a real-world view, and efficient management, of every aspect of the highway, and demonstrate how it uses OMG’s cutting edge computer vision technology for visualising highways assets. The Company will also showcase its well documented Tempest Capture Vehicle, built in-house for the first time in the USA, used for vehicle-based electronic surveying to provide accuracy and speedy results on any highway type, whether a fast moving freeway or a smaller street.

PhotonStar LED Group (LON:PSL 12.25P/£13.77m)
PhotonStar LED Group, the British designer and manufacturer of smart LED lighting solutions, was at CES (Consumer Electronics Association) International 2013, demonstrating products it is working on with CSR plc (LON:CSR 357.3p/£591.02m). PhotonStar continues to work with CSR in the development of its Bluetooth Smart home lighting products, and at CES developed a joint LED lighting demonstration to show how Bluetooth low energy wireless technology can enable smartphones, tablets and other connected devices to control systems such as lighting throughout the home. This complements PhotonStar’s existing LED lighting system which is fully colour tuneable and dimmable. Last month, the Company announced a fundraise of £1.57m at 12p per share (a small premium) to invest in circadian lighting, which simulates the lighting levels of natural daylight, with positive effects on human health and productivity, whilst also providing a brief trading update where it expected revenues for the year to 31 December 2012 to be broadly in line with market forecasts and EBITDA for the year, before share based payments, is to be close to breakeven.

Plexus Holdings (LON:POS 250p/£206.87m)
Plexus Holdings, the AIM quoted oil and gas engineering services business and owner of the proprietary POS-GRIP® friction-grip method of well head engineering, today announced that it has agreed to supply its high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) POS-GRIP well head equipment, subject to finalisation of the contract, to Glencore Exploration Cameroon Ltd, the leading integrated commodities producer and marketer, for drilling a gas exploration well offshore Cameroon.  The contract will have an estimated initial value of circa £700,000. The order is initially for one well with an option to increase this to three. This is the first contract Plexus will enter into with Glencore, and it is anticipated that revenues will commence in March 2013. The exploration drilling programme will utilise Plexus’ POS-GRIP HP/HT 18-3/4” 15,000 psi well head equipment, and this contract further strengthens the Company’s growing presence in West Africa, and Cameroon in particular.

Polo Resources (LON:POL 2.75p/£74.15m)
Polo Resources, the natural resources investment company with interests in gold, oil and gas, coal and iron ore, has reported an update on the Sierra Leone-based Komahun Gold project, a subsidiary of its 90 per cent owned Nimini Holdings Limited. In December 2012, Nimini completed its 28,500 metres in-fill, depth and strike extension drilling programme which commenced in May 2012. An NI 43-101 compliant global mineral resource update, based on all drilling results to date, is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2013. Based upon the success of the 2012 programme, in January 2013 Nimini will commence a resource expansion drilling programme of approximately 26,000 metres with the objective of significantly adding to the expanded resource defined by the 2012 programme. This programme is targeting areas of open mineralisation at depth in two zones along a strike length of approximately 870 metres and in two new zones along a strike length of approximately 900 metres. The drilling programme completion is scheduled for May, 2013.

Quindell Portfolio (LON:QPL 13.88p/£502.53m)
Quindell Portfolio, the provider of sector leading expertise in software, consultancy and technology enabled outsourcing in its key markets, being Insurance, Telecommunications and their Related Sectors, announced that, subject to audit, revenue for the year ended 31 December 2012, including those of the legal services businesses for the period during which they were in partnership with Quindell, is expected to be approximately £165m, with adjusted EBITDA of approximately £47m. Trading at the start of the new financial year has continued positively with pipelines and pilot revenues at record levels, building on the strong performance delivered by the Group during 2012. Results for the year ended 31 December 2012 are therefore expected to be ahead of the upper end of market expectations with adjusted EPS of 1.29 pence (Q4: 0.43 pence). Margin performance has continued to be maintained at or above historic run-rate levels as the Group has continued to drive through efficiencies, integration savings and economies of scale. Operating cash flow is also ahead of market expectations with cash at the end of the year of circa £47m compared to market expectations of £41.5m. The Group has again had a strong start to the new financial year, continuing the positive developments achieved in 2012, with the pipeline progressing to pilots and then full contracts at a more rapid pace than during any prior period. Two significant technology solution contracts have reached key delivery and financial milestones since the start of the New Year.

Sinclair IS Pharma (LON:SPH 27.75p/£120.69m)
Sinclair IS Pharma, the international specialty pharma company, announced a trading update for the six months ended 31 December 2012 ahead of its interim results which will be announced on 12 February 2013. Revenues for the first half are expected to be approximately £23.0m, a 4 per cent increase like-for like, with continued strong growth of International operations, an 18 per cent increase like for like. Sculptra/New-Fill and Succeev sales recently commenced. A new debt facility was recently secured to provide additional capital of £9.0m for future business development opportunities. The Board expects adjusted EBITDA for the period to exceed the profit of £0.7m reported in the six months to 31 December 2011 as the benefits of operating leverage continue to improve margins, and are confident in the outlook for the full year.

The TEG Group (LON:TEG 5.25p/£9.89m)
The TEG Group, the developer and operator of organic composting and energy plants, has provided a trading update for the financial year to December 2012. Overall, the trading performance for the business improved substantially in the second half of the year with both the operational and projects elements of the business performing well. The Company finished the year with a strong cash position and a low level of borrowings. As announced in September 2012, financial close was completed on the Dagenham project, the combined in-vessel composting (IVC) and anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to be constructed at Dagenham Dock, London. TEG was awarded a construction contract worth approximately £16m in revenues together with a 15-year operating contract. Construction has proceeded well, is on budget and remains on programme for final completion in the first quarter of 2014. The management believes that the outlook for 2013 is positive. Local Authorities and private sector customers continue to divert organic waste from landfill to meet statutory targets and TEG’s contract pipeline remains strong.

TyraTech (LON:TYR 4.75p/£5.14m)
The Board of TyraTech, a life sciences company focusing on natural pest control and healthcare products, announced the appointment of Bruno Jactel, 51, as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Mr Jactel joins the Executive Board as the Company accelerates its transition toward commercialisation. Mr. Jactel spent 12 years at Merial Limited as combined Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Merial is the US$2.6bn revenue generating Animal Health subsidiary of the Sanofi Group. Prior to Merial, Mr. Jactel was Deputy Minister for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. He is also a recent founder and board member of Hypercell Technologies LLC, an early-stage biotech company developing therapeutic solutions to serious infectious animal disease. Mr. Jactel is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has a Masters in Economic Sciences from the Sorbonne University in Paris. To ensure a smooth transition, Alan Reade will remain as Executive Chairman until at least the end of the first quarter of 2013. Alan will then revert to the role of Non-Executive Chairman and in that capacity will continue to support the Company both as a Board Member and an investor.

*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP

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.

8 January 2013

This week: DDD widens global reach; ESG serves strong growth; TYR gains two new patents

A good start to the New Year last week with the FTSE 100 rising almost 200 points to close the week at 6,090 points. The AIM All Share also followed the trend with a rise from 707 points to 719 points. News included a short term deal being signed on the US fiscal cliff which helped the markets to rally, whilst retail sales in the UK in December were up 1.5 per cent compared to the prior December and UK manufacturing was also said to have risen to a 15 month high in December with a PMI of 51.4 versus 49.2 the month before. The week ahead sees the Bank of England MPC announcement, UK trade figures, UK monthly manufacturing output and industrial production figures being announced.

If you would like to unsubscribe, please email enquiries@hybridan.com with “unsubscribe me”.
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.

ANCR supply of product resumes, ATC Loan Extension, BSE Admission to AIM, BLUR New appointments, CGNR Metallurgical Test Work Positive, CYAN Partner deployment, DDD Expansion of Yabazam, ESG Preliminary results, GTC New contracts worth $2m, MAGP Quarterly update, MDZ interims and placing, MIRA Contract win, NPT Trading Update, MOU with Botswanan Company, PINN Board Changes, PREM granted two permits, RXP $40m equity investment, SNCL Audited Preliminary Results, SORB agreement with APAC and update on Loan Notes, TYR New Anti-Endoparasitic Composition Patents, SQS Largest Contract Win & Contract, VIY Chevron Expands Contract

Animalcare Group (LON:ANCR 145p/£30.04m)
A leading supplier of veterinary medicines last week announced that the sale of Buprecare single dose ampoules has resumed following the break in supply announced in July 2011. A new contract has been signed with a German multinational contract manufacturer with a substantial sterile injectables facility in France and that facility has now been approved to manufacture Buprecare single dose ampoules.  Buprecare single dose ampoules from the new supplier are now available for sale in all previously supplied markets in the UK and Europe. Animalcare management is confident about the new supply of Buprecare ampoules and is also confident that levels of sales similar to those prior to the supply disruption will be reached. Buprecare multi dose vial, an analgesic for cats and dogs launched in March 2012, continues to sell well. Its strong performance is expected to complement the sale of the ampoule product.

Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC 0.26p/£10.25m)
Atlantic Coal, the anthracite coal mining company operating in Pennsylvania, USA, announced the extension and variation of the existing loans to Coal Contractors, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, from Willoughby and Mrs. MC Best. Since October 2007, Coal Contractors has had loans from Mrs. MC Best (the wife of Steve Best, Chief Executive of Atlantic Coal) and Willoughby (a company controlled by Mrs. MC Best). As at 31 December 2012 the total outstanding on the loan from Mrs. MC Best was US$1,971,466.32 and from Willoughby was £477,020.73. Interest on these existing unsecured loans had been accruing at 9 per cent per annum and was repayable in full (together with all accrued interest) on 31 December 2012. Under the terms of two loan extension and variation agreements entered into on 1 January 2013 between Coal Contractors, Mrs. MC Best and Willoughby respectively, repayment of the existing loans has been extended to 30 April 2013. In consideration of these repayment extensions, the interest rate has been increased to 15 per cent per annum with effect from 1 January 2013 until the date on which the loans are repaid in full. The terms of the Existing Loans otherwise remain unchanged. In addition Coal Contractors has agreed to repay US$221,466.32 of the loan from Mrs. MC Best on 2 January 2013, leaving the outstanding principal and accrued interest on the loan from Mrs. MC Best as US$1,750,000.00.

Base Resources (LON:BSE 16.5p/£92.47m)
Ordinary shares in Base Resources, which is developing the Kwale Mineral Sands Project in Kenya, have begun trading on the AIM market. The listing on AIM is in addition to the Company’s existing listing on the ASX and is part of a strategy to expand its international profile and capitalise on substantial UK and European investor interest in the Company and its Kwale project. The project is believed to enjoy a high level of support from the Government of Kenya as well as the local community and, located just 50km from Mombasa, Kenya’s principal port facility, is well serviced by existing physical infrastructure.

blur (Group)  (LON:BLUR 84p/£20.63m)
Operator of the Global Services Exchange at blurgroup.com, which listed on AIM last October, announced that it has appointed two new senior managers. Belinda Wrigley who spent 5 years as FD of BT’s services infrastructure business and 7 years at Valtech, a French IT services company, takes on the role of Group Finance Director at the Company extending the Group finance function as part of its next stage of growth. Mitch Faigen who worked with CEO Philip Letts at Beenz (where he was President of the Americas) and was Global Head of Strategy and Business Development at Tradaq, will take on the role of Global Head of Exchange Development and will be responsible for development of the exchange business planning, economics and metrics and building strategic alliances.  Since the launch in 2010, the exchange has seen over 1,300 briefs with a combined value of over $19m, and with recent significant briefs being announced from eBay and a leading international healthcare group, the Company continues with its growth campaign.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (LON:CGNR 1.2p/£3.24m)*
The gold exploration and development company focused on Ireland today announced that the first results of the Metallurgical test work have been received and were positive. These results relate to the Comminution test work being undertaken by Goldfields Limited including grinding, crushing and other factors in relation to mill design. Chairman, Professor Richard Conroy said: “We are delighted to receive the first results of the Metallurgical studies. This is a further important step in our planned development of a gold mine at Clontibret in Co. Monaghan. The test work is continuing and these results on the Comminution studies will be followed by results from the Flotation test work.”

Cyan Holdings (LON:CYAN 0.76p/£17.57m)
Cyan, the integrated system and software design company delivering mesh based flexible wireless solutions for utility metering and lighting control, announced that one of its strategic meter manufacturing partners in India, has deployed Cyan’s integrated Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution (CyLec) as a pilot for a leading integrated power company in Mumbai. The power company is India’s largest integrated power company with over 1,000,000 households, 150,000 corporate customers and a significant international presence. The installation will demonstrate CyLec across a three to six month period and the Company will use its own Meter Data Management System to manage and present the data collected from the meters. The Company also announced that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) tender process continues and that as a result of delays in this order, the fulfilment of a substantial smart metering order placed in May 2012 will now be completed in 2013.

DDD Group (LON:DDD 22p/£29.56m)
The 3D solutions company announced the expansion of availability of its Yabazam 3D TV app for LG 3D Smart TVs to seven more countries. Previously available on both LG and Samsung 3D Smart TVs in the US, UK, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Company has now expanded availability to LG 3D TVs in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Yabazam offers a wide range of 3D content including independently produced 3D movies, documentaries, live action comedies and animated features from producers around the world. The Company also announced in December that it has commenced trading on the OTCQX with American Depositary Receipts.

eServ Global (LON:ESG 29.75p/£67.34m)
Global telecoms software vendor specialising in mobile money and Value-Added Services announced preliminary results for the year to 31st October 2012. Revenues strengthened to A$28.1m, averaging A$2.3m per month, which is 33 per cent higher than A$1.8m in the four month prior financial year (a change in the year end took place from June to October). Operating expenses were seen to have narrowed to A$17.7m, whilst the balance sheet dropped to A$3.8m (Oct 2011: A$10.2m), although this has been subsequently boosted since the year end by an A$9.5m fundraise. The Company’s Homesend mobile money service is the key focus of the business offering international money transfers using mobile telephones (phone numbers). eServ currently works with clients such as Airtel, Vodafone, MTN, Xpress Money and Lyca Money across a number of territories and continues to seek to grow its business to take advantage of the burgeoning opportunity, with a particular emphasis on the emerging markets (India and LATAM).

GETECH Group (LON:GTC 50p/£14.65m)
Getech, the oil services business specialising in the provision of exploration data and petroleum systems studies and evaluations, announced two new sales from its gravity and magnetic datasets within the global data library with a combined value of $2m. These data sets provide structural support for the Globe platform, and the Company believes it is the increased uptake of Globe by international oil and gas explorationists that has led to this.

Magnolia Petroleum (LON:MAGP 3.68p/£29.12m)
Magnolia Petroleum,  the US focused oil and gas exploration and production company, has reported a quarterly update on its operations across proven and producing US onshore hydrocarbon formations, including the Bakken/Three Forks Sanish in North Dakota and Montana and the Mississippi Lime and the Hunton/Woodford in Oklahoma. The total number of producing wells in which the Company has an interest now stands at 86 – a 34 per cent increase since the beginning of 2012. Nineteen wells currently being drilled / completed and a further ten are waiting to be spud. During the quarter, the Company raised £2.9m at a blended price of 4.5365p per share by way of draw down from an £10m Equity Financing Facility, of which approximately £5.3m remains to be drawn down if and when required. Looking ahead, Q1 2013 is expected to see further significant activity with numerous new wells due to come into production. Multiple well proposals are being received and this is expected to lead to further participations with leading operators.

MediaZest (LON:MDZ 0.12p/£0.38m)*
MediaZest – at the same time as its interims to 30 September – announced a placing at 0.12p per share to raise £179,000 before expenses. Revenue for the period was £964,000 (2011 – £1,746,000) and the group made a loss for the period, after taxation, of £239,000 (2011 – £151,000) after finance costs of £55,000 (2011 – £42,000) and having paid administrative expenses of £625,000 (2011 – £754,000). The gross profit was £461,000 (2011 – £651,000). The Group had cash in hand of £33,000 (2011 – £139,000) at the period end. The results for the period reflect a difficult start to the financial year with turnover lower than the corresponding prior period, although an improvement on the preceding six months. This is partly due to timing issues, as the corresponding prior period had two larger contracts with total value of approximately £550,000 that fell into those months. The Group anticipates that revenues will be more evenly spread in the current financial year.  Despite this fall in top line revenue, an ongoing emphasis on margins and sector mix has led to a considerable improvement in gross margin from 37 per cent to 48 per cent. This is largely due to the policy of reducing the Group’s historical reliance on the Education sector and to concentrate efforts on enhancing existing and developing new business in the retail and corporate sectors. As noted in the previous year’s results, the year began with a difficult quarter. Since then trading has improved considerably and this trend has continued. Both sales and pipeline opportunities have grown in the months since July and the Company has already been awarded significant project business that is scheduled to be completed in calendar year 2013. This includes a large project with revenue in excess of £400,000 along with the achievement of first significant revenues that have emanated from a growing overseas effort, in this instance from the United States. Moving forward, the Board continues to believe that the general economic climate will remain difficult and the Board have taken further steps to reduce overheads by moving into new premises. The Group has experienced, over the last twelve and in particular six months, an increase in usage of audio visual services in the Retail sector in particular, and that trend appears set to continue. As part of this effort, the Group is looking to increase the number of sales people it employs to both develop and consummate business in such markets and this strategy is underpinned by the recent placing.

Mirada (LON:MIRA 13.25p/£4.7m)
Mirada, the audiovisual content interaction specialist, has announced another contract win in Latin America. The contract, which will contribute in excess of US$400,000 in revenue during this calendar year, is for the provision of Mirada’s remote recording solution. The customer is a multi-national telecommunications operator with an extensive presence throughout Latin America, and this will be the customer’s second territory in the region which will be using Mirada’s solution. As part of the contract Mirada will provide its remote recording functionality to one of the operator’s digital TV platforms, including the integration of the content recommendation and search engines. It is anticipated that the commercial launch will take place in the first quarter of 2013. Under the terms of the contract, Mirada will also provide support and maintenance services to the managed solution hosted in the Cloud for an initial period of twelve months after launch.

Netplay TV (LON:NPT  12.25p/£35.06m)
NetPlay TV, the interactive gaming Company, announced continued strong growth with the Company’s Q4 KPIs significantly ahead of the same period in 2011 and the prior quarter. The growth in new depositing and total depositing customers year on year has resulted in a 29 per cent increase in revenue versus Q4 2011. Mobile and tablet growth has continued to excel and the addition of a suite of mobile slot games in September has significantly improved the customer experience. The latest TV adverts for both its Supercasino.com and Jackpot247.com brands focus on the ability to play via mobile and tablets and the effect is clearly visible with 31 per cent of all new depositing players now signing up via mobile and tablets and 205 per cent growth in mobile and tablet revenue versus Q4 2011. The Directors are pleased with this continued strong performance and are confident of exceeding full year market expectations.

Paragon Diamonds (LON:PRG 18.25p/£35.61m)
Paragon Diamonds, which focuses on turning producing and exploration diamond properties into a portfolio of high value assets located within Africa, has announced that it has entered into a MoU with a private Botswanan Company, which is the registered holder of a number prospecting licences across diamond-prospective terrains in Botswana, covering 1,686km2 over several known kimberlites including one in the Orapa Kimberlite Field. These licences were issued in July 2011, are valid until June 2014 and can be extended for a further four years subject to certain conditions. The MoU stipulates a six month period during which Paragon may review data on the licences, undertake appropriate due diligence and negotiate earning an equity interest in the licences in return for funding exploration costs, on terms to be finalised.

Pinnacle Technology Group (LON:PINN 0.32p /£7.08m)
Pinnacle Technology Group, the provider of cloud based technology solutions, has announced board changes to come into effect from the conclusion of the Company’s AGM to be held on 26 March 2013. William Allan, the non-executive Chairman, and John Anderson, a non-executive Director, have informed the Company of their intentions to retire from the board. They will be replaced by Dr James Dodd and Dr Tom Black as non-executive Chairman and non-executive director, respectively. A member of the Securities Institute and the Institute of Physics, Dr. Dodd is currently a member of Oriel Securities’ Advisory Board and also serves on the Board of the Apollo Submarine Cable System Ltd, the joint venture between Vodafone Group plc and Alcatel-Lucent SA. Dr Black is co-founder and executive Chairman of Digital Barriers (LON:DGB 164.5p/£72.03m), an AIM-listed business focussed on the surveillance sector and which operates in the global Homeland Security Market. Prior to setting-up Digital Barriers in 2009, Dr. Black spent over 20 years with Detica Group plc, which was acquired by BAE Systems in 2008.

Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM 1.75p/£5.87m)
The AIM quoted multi-commodity natural resource company with mineral projects located in Western and Southern Africa this morning announced that two gold Exploration Permits in the Dapaong area of Togo, which were stated as having been approved in the Company’s AIM Admission Document dated 4 December 2012, have now been formally issued to the Group. The total area under permit is 400 sq km. Dapaong is considered to be highly prospective for gold due to the location and geological setting. Significant artisanal activity has been seen across the licence, which has not yet been subject to a systematic exploration programme for gold. Using its existing resources in Togo, the Company intends to immediately commence exploration in order to quantify the full potential of this highly prospective area. The Project adds to the Company’s already extensive portfolio of mineral assets in Southern and West Africa, which are in various stages of development. George Roach, Chief Executive Officer of Premier African Minerals Limited, said: “This is the first announcement since our AIM listing in December 2012 and it underlines our aggressive development strategy aimed at both advancing our existing portfolio, which consists of a number of pre-production assets, and increasing our asset base to build shareholder value.  We expect to be active in 2013, as we look to continue with the development of our RHA and Katete projects, which are highly prospective for tungsten and Rare Earth Elements respectively.  In regard to these properties, we look forward to updating shareholders in due course.” The permits are valid for an initial period of three years.

Roxi Petroleum (LON:RXP 2.12p/£12.95m)
Roxi Petroleum, the Central Asian oil and gas Company focused on Kazakhstan, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to raise $40m from the issue of new Roxi shares. Mr. Kairat Alpamysovich Satylganov, a Kazakh investor, has agreed to subscribe for 355m new shares at a price of around 7p per share, being a significant premium to the closing share price of 2.125p per share as at 7 January 2013 and will represent 37.5 per cent of Roxi’s ordinary share capital as enlarged by such a share issue. The first $10m will be paid on 31 January 2013, in exchange for the issue to Mr. Satylganov of 89m new shares. The remaining $30m will be called down by Roxi’s Board in exchange for further 266m new Roxi shares, to fund work programme commitments at the Company’s assets, principally at BNG, where the funding will allow Roxi to drill three deep wells and two shallow wells at BNG in 2013. Mr. Satylganov was previously chairman of two of the largest Kazakh banks, Halyk Bank and ATF Bank, and was also chairman of the Kazakh investment company Almex. As part of the subscription agreement, it is intended that Mr. Satylganov will join the Roxi Board.

Sorbic International (LON:SORB 6.5p/£2.93m)
Sorbic International, the third largest sorbates producer in China, announced over Christmas week that the required majority of holders of A and B loan notes have agreed to waive and defer their right to receipt of any interest due on 31 December 2012 pursuant to the Loan Note Instrument until the Final Redemption Date. As announced with the preliminary results of last month, the Company will continue discussions with loan note holders in early 2013 with a view to reaching agreement on revised terms of the loan notes which are due for repayment in February 2013. Sorbic also announced last week that it has signed an agreement with APAC Chemical Corporation (APAC) to form a new company; Linyi APAC Van Food Ingredients Co. Ltd to utilise the capabilities of both companies’ technical strength and production capacity to further penetrate the global sorbates market. Following the formation of the New Company, APAC will be LVST’s exclusive sorbic acid and potassium sorbate distributor in North America. The Directors anticipate that APAC could purchase up to 80 per cent of the Company’s current capacity. The Company has been working with APAC for some time and will continue to work towards other areas of collaboration. APAC is a US based chemical company specialising in the manufacturing of sorbic acid and potassium sorbate, as well as importing and distributing food additives and other specialty chemicals. The Board believes that the agreement will enable the Company to secure more significant global customers that it is currently unable to engage with as LVST has no warehouse facility in the USA. This agreement gives the Company access to APAC’s infrastructure, thereby enabling the Company to expand its multinational customer base. As announced with the results last month, the Board continues to work to seek a conclusion of the negotiations regarding the Inner Mongolia facility, and will update shareholders in due course, according to John McLean, the Chairman.

SQS (LON:SQS 255.5p/£71.27m)
Extensions Leading specialist in software quality services this morning announced that the Company has been awarded a number of significant Managed Services contracts and contract extensions/renewals worth a total of €64m over the next three years, including its largest ever contract win and largest ever contract extension. The total order intake from Managed Services contracts during 2012 was €101m, up 52 per cent from 2011. SQS has signed its largest ever contract, worth at least €25m over the next three years, with an existing client in the automotive sector. The contract is to provide Managed Services and Specialist Services to the client, where previously SQS had provided traditional testing services only. Provision of traditional testing services will continue, such that revenues from the new contract will be more than 50 per cent in addition to existing revenues from the client. The Company has also been awarded its largest ever contract extension, worth €24m. This is to provide Managed Services to a tier-1 European bank over the next two years. In addition, SQS has won a significant contract renewal, worth a further €15m in fees over the next year. This is also to provide Managed Services to a tier-1 global bank. Dik Vos, CEO of SQS, commented: “We stated at the time of our interim results in September that one of our strategic goals was to focus on securing larger contracts and we are therefore especially delighted with our recent contract wins, extensions and renewals. These expand upon what were already some of our biggest contracts to date and are clear evidence of the high value our clients place upon our offerings, as well as the successful delivery of our Managed Services strategy.”

TyraTech (LON:TYR  4.88p/£4.68m)
TyraTech, Inc., a natural life sciences Company, announced that the Company has received notices, from both the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China, granting two new patents for the Company’s novel natural compositions for controlling intestinal worms and parasites. The Directors of the Company believe that these new patents are an important addition to TyraTech’s intellectual property portfolio as they will provide support and protection of the Company’s pipeline of anthelmintic solutions for humans, as well as companion and production animals. The issuance of these patents increases TyraTech’s patent portfolio to a current total of fourteen United States and international patents protecting its proprietary screening platform and compositions.

ViaLogy (LON:VIY 2.12p/£19.69m)
ViaLogy announced that Chevron has expanded its contract for QuantumRD analysis of tracts in the Delaware Basin. The decision follows work completed by ViaLogy on a portion of the field, located in one of the Company’s most important leaseholds in the continental United States. CEO Robert Dean said: “We’re pleased by Chevron’s decision to expand the contract area, and we look forward to working with them on ever-increasing areas of this most important field. We believe our QuantumRD offers a competitive advantage in bringing new efficiencies to placing horizontal wells, and, hopefully, to lowering the overall cost of production.”

William Sinclair (LON:SNCL 116p/£19.75m)
William Sinclair Holdings, one of the UK’s leading producers of commercial horticulture and branded garden products, announced its full year results to 30 September 2012. Profit before tax and exceptional items of £0.26m (2011: £3.18m) and a loss before tax of £0.40m (2011: profit before tax £3.18m). Sales at the Freeland Horticulture subsidiary are growing in line with expectations and a final dividend of 2.6p was reported making 4.5p for the year (2011: 6.2p). A new manufacturing site was acquired at Ellesmere Port and the production of industry leading peat-free SuperFyba more than doubled. Bernard Burns, Chief Executive, said: “The once in a 100 years wet weather severely impacted the European peat harvesting and garden retailing industries and the Company’s profitability suffered as a consequence. Despite the severely curtailed harvest, William Sinclair’s customers will receive their supplies of peat based products in 2013. Significant strategic milestones were achieved during the year and William Sinclair is now well placed to take long term advantage of its technical superiority over its competitors and increasing logistic strengths as the output at the new Ellesmere Port site begins to ramp up and the horticulture market returns to growth.” The Company appointed a new Chief Executive Officer- Bernard’s replacement is Peter Rush, joining on 1 March 2013. He was previously Group Managing Director at Hozelock, another supplier to the horticultural industry and before that had extensive operations experience in a number of consumer product businesses.

*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP

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.