Small Cap Feast

24th January 2023

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RPS Group has left the Premium Segment of the Main Market.




What’s Cooking In The IPO Kitchen?

Celsius Resources intends to join AIM. Currently ASX listed, Celsius is a natural resources exploration and development company principally seeking to explore and develop potential world-class copper-gold assets in the Philippines and a cobalt asset in Namibia. Amount planning to raise and anticipated market cap TBC. Expected late January 2023.

Conviction Life Sciences, a newly established closed-ended investment company managed by Plain English Finance Limited, is seeking to list on Premium Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, to invest in a conviction portfolio of life sciences and medical technology businesses, primarily in the UK, Europe and Australasia. The Company will invest in both Publicly Traded and Private companies - c. 70% and c. 20% of the total portfolio value respectively. The Company will target an annualised Total NAV Return of 20% over the long-term. Targeting to raise c.£100m. Delayed to 3rd February 2023.


Breakfast Buffet

Accrol Group Holdings 31.15p £99.3m (ACRL.L)
The UK independent tissue converter, announces its unaudited results for the six months ended 31 October 2022 (H1 23). Group revenues increased by 64.3% to £121.1m (H1 22: £73.7m) due to a strengthening in volume demand. Accrol's market share in the period by volume increased 21.5% (FY22: 19.5%), compared to a flat overall UK market. The Private label sector also strengthened with the Group's share of private label now totals 46% (FY22: 44%). Adjusted EBITDA increased 42% to £7.1m from £5m (H1 22), loss before tax reduced by £2.6m to a loss of £0.9m. Richard Newman, Chief Financial Officer, is to step down at the end of April. The group remain on track to deliver revenue growth of 50% to c.£230m and Adjusted EBITDA marginally ahead of market expectations in FY23, despite an annualised increase in costs of over £80m.

Alkemy Capital Investments 230p £16.6m (ALK.L)
The Company and its wholly-owned subsidiary Tees Valley Lithium Limited (TVL) report that TVL's lithium hydroxide refinery at Teesside UK, has received first phase approval from the UK Government's £1bn Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) which seeks to support the national transition to Electric Vehicles. The ATF is a long-term programme designed to enable the UK to build the world's most comprehensive and compelling electrified vehicle supply chain. TVL's world-class zero waste lithium hydroxide refinery will form a significant component of the UK's transition to Electric Vehicles and is expected to produce enough lithium hydroxide to supply 100% of the forecasted automotive demand in the UK by 2030.

Anglo Asian Mining 111.5p £127.4m (AZZ.L)
The gold, copper and silver producer focused in Azerbaijan, announces further drill results at the Gilar deposit. These confirm an extension to the mineralisation reported by previous drilling with intercepts of up to 68 metres of continuous gold and copper mineralisation: Borehole 22GLDD127: 68.35m @ 2.40g/t gold, 2.89% copper and 1.58% zinc from 320.00m. The overall drilling has demarcated six zones of mineralisation referenced in the RNS of 19 December 2022. Recent drilling has extended and confirmed the deeper zone of continuous mineralisation hosting significant gold, copper and zinc with intercept thickness of over 65 metres. One drill hole (22GLDD122) in the centre of Gilar also intersected significant mineralisation. Two further inclined drill holes in the south-west of Gilar are now complete and subject to verification and analysis.

Aptamer Group 39p £26.9m (APTA.L)
The developer of novel Optimer® binders to enable innovation in the life sciences industry, announces the recent signing of 2 new fee-for-service contracts initially worth over £500k subject to the successful progression of Optimer development, with the potential for downstream milestone and royalty/licensing payments. These latest contracts are in addition to £1.0m of recognised revenue in H1, as well as the additional £1.0m in signed orders, announced in Aptamer's recent trading update. The first contract is with BaseCure Therapeutics, a pre-clinical stage biotech company dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative siRNA-based medicines. The second contract is with a developer of custom enzymes based in Asia.

City Pub Group (The) 76p £80.3m (CPC.L)
The owner and operator of 44 premium pubs across Southern England and Wales, announces a trading update for Q4 and for the full year ended 25 December 2022. Trading in Q4 delivered accelerated like for like sales growth compared with 2019 of 7.8% as a result of events such as the World Cup and Christmas. The performance would have been better, had it not been for the rail strikes, with an estimated lost revenue to be in the region £0.75m (c. 3.5% of revenue for Q4). Overall, the core estate for 2022 was in line with market expectations. Annual turnover increased 65% from £35.4m (2021) to £57.6m (2022). Trading in the first 4 weeks of 2023 has begun well with like for like sales against 2022 up 25% and above expectations. CPC also announces, Toby Smith, Chief Operating Officer, will resign from his role. Rupert Clark, currently Group Managing Director and a member of the Board, will take on the role.

I(x) Net Zero 14.25p £11.9m (IX..L)
The investing company which focuses on Energy Transition and Sustainability in the Built Environment, announces the appointment of Pär Lindström, the Company's Chief Investment Officer, as its Chief Executive Officer, replacing Steve Oyer, who has stepped down from the Board, with immediate effect. Pär will continue in his role as Chief Investment Officer of the Company. Pär Lindström, who co-founded the Company in 2015, has over 25 years' investment experience, M&A experience and business development expertise through a career focused on venture capital, growth capital and private equity investments in the U.S., Europe and the emerging markets.

Roquefort Therapeutics* 7.75p £10m (ROQ.L)
The Main Market listed biotech company focused on developing first in class medicines in the high growth, high value oncology market announces the ROQ-A1 and ROQ-A2 Midkine (MDK) oncology antibody programs, have successfully demonstrated in vivo safety in pre-clinical development programs carried out by leading academic cancer research groups, on schedule and within budget. ROQ-A1 and ROQ-A2 are the latest patented humanised antibody medicines designed by the Company to target the novel MDK target prevalent in hard-to-treat cancers. In laboratory experiments, ROQ-A1 and ROQ-A2 bind highly specifically to the MDK receptors in cancer cells to kill cancers in vitro. Both MDK antibody programs will now progress into in vivo efficacy studies to assess cancer killing ability in primary and metastatic breast cancer and lung cancer. The Company will update the market on the results of these efficacy studies as they progress.

Staffline Group 32.5p £53.9m (STAF.L)
The recruitment and training group, provides a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2022 (FY 22). Underlying operating profit and cash flows are ahead of market expectations. Revenue increase of 0.4% driven by new client wins, and offset by softening demand from customers who had benefited from COVID. Gross profit from Recruitment businesses increased 4.7%. The post-IFRS16 net cash of £0.1m at 31 December 2022 (2021: £2.3m) is stated after repayments of the final £5.8m tranche of HMRC Deferred VAT Relief and £6.2m of COVID related advance payments to the Ministry of Justice. Looking ahead, the Group expect the macroeconomic headwinds to persist. Low unemployment will continue to constrain volumes in certain areas of the business, while market share in the competitive temporary labour market is expected in to increase. The Board has adopted a cautious approach to FY 2023.

Sureserve 87p £144.6m (SUR.L)
The compliance and energy support services group announces its audited results for the year ended 30 September 2022. Revenue increased by 27% to £275.1m (2021: £216.6m. EBITA grew 36.6% to £16.8m (2021: £12.3m), as did Profit before tax, which was up 40.5% to £15.6m (2021: £11.1m). Throughout the year the orderbook increased by 18.0% to £593.5m (2021: £502.9m), which included 99 contract wins valued at £247.0m (2021: £400.0m). During the period the Board appointed Peter Smith (CEO), Sam Vohra (CFO) and Tania Songini (Non-Executive Director). The Group’s order book provides visibility of revenue streams with 79% of FY23 expected revenue covered by the order book at the start of the financial year. The Board remains confident in the outlook for FY23.

The Artisanal Spirits Company 91p £63.5m (ART.L)
The curators of the single-cask and limited-edition whisky, and owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, provides an unaudited trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2022 (FY 2022). Revenue for the year is expected to show growth of approximately 20% over the previous year (FY 2021: £18.2m), and slightly ahead of the consensus revenue forecast of £21.6m. Global membership grew by approximately 12% with c.37k members, while Retention remained broadly consistent with the prior year level of 77%. The board are confident of continued progress in FY 2023, and continuing to deliver against the Group's stated strategy, consistent with market expectations. ART also announces a change of leadership with David Ridley stepping down as Managing Director and Andrew Dane appointed as CEO.

24 January 2023
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP

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The information contained in this document is based on materials and sources that are believed to be reliable; however, such information has not been independently verified and therefore it is not possible to confirm such information as being accurate. This document is not intended to be a complete statement or summary of any securities, markets, reports or developments referred to herein. No representation or warranty, either express or implied, is made or accepted by Hybridan LLP, its members, officers, employees, agents or associated undertakings in relation to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information contained in this document, nor should it be relied upon as such.

The content of this document includes market commentary and other information which we have prepared in relation to the company referred to in this document, which is our broking client. The provision of this document to you constitutes a minor non-monetary benefit which is capable of enhancing the quality of service provided by Hybridan LLP and which is of a scale and nature which could not be judged to impair the duty of Hybridan LLP to act in the best interest of its client falling within article 24(7)(b) of Regulation 600/2014/EU (MIFID II Regulation).

Any and all opinions expressed are current as of the date appearing on this face of this document only. Any and all opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and Hybridan LLP is under no obligation to update the information contained herein. To the fullest extent permitted by law, none of Hybridan LLP, its members, officers, employees, agents or associated undertakings shall have any liability whatsoever for any direct or indirect or consequential loss or damage (including lost profits) arising in any way from use of all or any part of the information in this document.

This document should not be relied upon as being an independent or impartial view of the subject matter and, for the avoidance of doubt, constitutes non-independent research (as such term is defined in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook to reflect the requirements of the MIFID II Regulation and Directive 2014/65/EU (known as MIFID II)). The individuals who prepared this document may be interested in shares in the company concerned and/or other companies within its sector, may be involved in providing other financial services to the company or companies referenced in this document or to other companies who might be said to be competitors of the company or companies referenced in this document. As a result both Hybridan LLP and the individual members, officers and/or employees who prepared this document may have responsibilities that conflict with the interests of the persons who receive this document. Hybridan LLP and/or connected persons may, from time to time, have positions in, make a market in and/or effect transactions in any investment or related investment mentioned herein and may provide financial services to the issuers of such investments.

In the United Kingdom, this document is directed at and is for distribution only to persons who (i) fall within article 19(5) (persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments) or article 49(2) (a) to (d) (high net worth companies, unincorporated associations, etc.) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (SI 2005/1529) (as amended) or (ii) persons who are each a professional client or eligible counterparty (as those terms are defined in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook) of Hybridan LLP (all such persons referred to in (i) and (ii) together being referred to as relevant persons). This document must not be acted on or relied up on by persons who are not relevant persons. For the purposes of clarity, this document is not intended for and should not be relied upon by any person who would be classified as a retail client under the Financial Conduct Authority’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook.

Neither this document, nor any copy of part thereof may be distributed in any other jurisdictions where its distribution may be restricted by law and persons into whose possession this document comes should inform themselves about, and observe, any such restrictions. Distribution of this report in any such other jurisdictions may constitute a violation of territorial and/or extra-territorial securities laws, whether in the United Kingdom, the United States or any other jurisdiction in any part of the world.

Where possible this document is made available to all relevant recipients at the same time. Dissemination of research by Hybridan LLP is monitored to ensure that it is only provided to relevant persons. Research prepared by Hybridan LLP is not intended to be received and/or used by any person who is a retail client.

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