Small Cap Feast

24th May 2022

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Dish Of The Day:
EnSilica (ENSI.L), has join AIM. EnSilica provides an end-to-end service for the design and supply of mixed signal ASICs, outsourcing certain elements such as the wafer fabrication of the manufacturing and packaging to third parties – otherwise known as a Fabless Semiconductor Model. ASICs are Integrated Circuits or semiconductor chips developed for a particular use or product rather than for general purpose usage. ASICs help differentiate products through optimised hardware making products smaller, faster, lower power, and/or more secure and can provide novel functionality, improve supply chain security and protect products from being copied). The Company has expertise in designing complex mixed signal ASICs, which combine digital and analogue functions onto a single chip. Raised £6m. Mkt Cap Approximately £37.6m.
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What’s Cooking In The IPO Kitchen?

According to news reports, The Very Group, is looking to float after calling off their plan for a £4bn IPO last year due to a volatile market. The ecommerce group is owned by the Barclays family. According to the Sunday Times, the retailer has offered incentives to senior leaders at the firm for pulling off a flotation, which the Barclays family now hope to get underway in mid-2023.

Psych Capital PLC, intends to list on the AQSE Growth Market. Psych operates the Psych Platform (a business-to-business networking platform), that is developing the Blossom Database pursuant to a third party licensing arrangement. The Company also has an investment of 426,000 common shares in Awakn, a Canadian NEO Exchange listed psychedelics research and clinical group, with operations in the UK and Europe. Psych is developing the Blossom Database pursuant to a third-party licensing arrangement, and Psych will work to develop an artificial intelligence platform that will provide biotech companies advanced clinical data that will be able to fast-track drug development and loop back the real-world data, in a centralised database, to provide feedback on molecules and associated therapy programmes. Due Date 9th June 2022.

Altona Rare Earths, the AQSE listed mining exploration Company focused on the evaluation, acquisition and development of Rare Earth Elements mining projects in Africa, intends to join the Main Market. Admission to trading of the Company’s Ordinary Shares on the AQSE Growth Market will be cancelled simultaneously with Admission. It is also proposed that on Admission, the Company will change its EPIC from AQSE:ANR to REE. The Company also seeks to raise funds to finance its current and future rare earths mining projects in Southern and Eastern Africa. Due June 2022.

Breakfast Buffet

Alba Mineral Resources 0.2p £13.1m (ALBA.L)

Update on progress made at its Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine in Wales, including assay results from gold concentrates produced from the processing of 8.76 tonnes of fines material excavated from the Mine’s historic Waste Tip. The assay results have returned gold concentrate grades of up to 1,000 g/t, with average head grades for this material of 1.7 g/t. Gold concentrate grades of up to 1,000 g/t have been returned following independent assaying of the 81 kg of total gold concentrates produced at the Clogau pilot processing plant from the five pits dug in January 2022 at the Waste Tip, with the average grade of the final high-grade concentrates being 503 g/t. An average head grade of 1.7 g/t was achieved for the material processed through the processing plant, significantly higher than the average of 0.95 g/t achieved from the initial sampling of the same pits, indicating that the sampling exercise under-represented the overall grade due to the nuggety effect of the ore. The successful completion of this Phase 2 programme, including the significantly higher average head grades, will enable further economic assessment of the Waste Tip to be completed. A positive assessment will enable Alba to proceed with a Mining Plan and formal planning application to commercially produce gold from the Waste Tip’s estimated 4,000 tonnes of fines material.

Aferian 140p £119.22m (AFRN.L)

Aferian plc, the B2B video streaming solutions company, today announces the launch of 24iQ, an advanced new personalisation and content recommendations service in its 24i business. The launch of 24iQ is a direct result of the successful and rapid integration of 24i’s existing data team with the innovative technologies and data science expertise of The Filter, recently acquired by Aferian in April 2022. 24iQ is available to any new or existing customer streaming video over broadband. This means that it can be deployed by any broadcaster, Pay TV provider or media company delivering a video streaming service. Through metadata enhancement, advanced algorithms and scalable APIs, 24iQ provides high-quality content suggestions based on the previous viewing behavior of individual consumers. This enables streaming services to more accurately populate user-specific sections on their platforms, driving increased engagement. Some customers have seen engagement rise by as much as 300% after deploying recommendations based on the 24iQ service. User-targeted content recommendations can be extended into push notifications and email marketing to drive return visits to streaming services. 24iQ also powers smart search facilities that incorporate user preferences when displaying results, with personalised recommendations for content about to be live streamed across TV channels.

Artisanal Spirits 77.5p £53.9m (ART.L)

Mark Hunter, Chair of The Artisanal Spirits Company, the owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, will provide the following statement in respect of the first four months of the year at its AGM being held at 9.00am today: “The Board is pleased to confirm that the positive momentum in the business referred to in the preliminary results announcement released in March has continued, with revenue growth in the period to April remaining above 30% year-on-year. Global membership growth, a leading indicator of future revenue growth, is now slightly ahead of management expectations, up over 6% in the period and 25% year-on-year to just over 35,000.” “Good progress has been made at, our new multi-purpose supply chain facility at Masterton Bond. Cask racking has now largely been installed with main contractors appointed and due to commence work this month. We continue to anticipate that the site will become fully operational in the second half of the year and be a contributor to improving the already strong margins of the business.” “Talent and organisational development remain an important pillar of our strategy and we were pleased to receive an overall Employee Engagement Index score of 81 from a recent staff survey. This is an exceptional result – well above reported UK and global averages – demonstrating the belief colleagues have in our vision and values.” “Year on year growth of over 30% in part reflects cycling over low Q1-21 sales in UK Venues & Europe and we remain cognisant that comparative performance figures will get tougher in the second half of the year. Furthermore, the Chinese government’s zero tolerance approach to managing Covid-19 has presented additional challenges for our business in that territory in the current quarter. However, we continue to make encouraging progress against our strategy and the Group remains on course to deliver strong revenue growth for the full year in line with current consensus market expectations.”

Belvoir Group 254p £94.7m (BLV.L)

The UK property franchise and financial services Group, announced that in line with its continued growth strategy, it has acquired the entire issued share capital of The TIME Group Limited for an initial cash consideration of £3.673m. The Acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings accretive. For the year ended 31 July 2021, based on unaudited financial statements, TIME generated revenue of £4.182m and adjusted profit before tax of £630k. Within the past three years, the number of mortgage advisers within the TIME network has grown from 46 to 64.

Crossword Cybersecurity* 28.5p £21.4m (CCS.L)

The cybersecurity solutions company focused on cyber strategy and risk, has today released a new report based on the findings of a survey of over 200 CISOs and senior UK cyber security professionals. Called “Strategy and collaboration: a better way forward for effective cybersecurity”, the paper reveals companies are more concerned and exposed to cyber threats than ever before, with almost two thirds (61%) describing themselves as at best only “fairly confident” at managing their current cybersecurity threat exposure, which should raise some eyebrows around the boardroom. Respondents also feared their cyber strategy would not keep pace with the rate of tech innovation and changes in the threat landscape. 40% believe their existing cyber strategy will be outdated in two years, and a further 37% within three years. Additional investment is needed to address longer term planning, with 44% saying they only have sufficient resources in their organisation to focus on the immediate and mid-term cyber threats and tech trends. Crossword offers a range of cyber security solutions to help companies understand and reduce cyber security risk. It does this through a combination of people and technology, in the form of SaaS and software products, consulting, and managed services. Crossword’s areas of emphasis are cyber security strategy and risk, supply chain cyber, threat detection and response, and digital identity and the aim is to build up a portfolio of cyber security products and services with recurring revenue models in these four areas.

Epwin Group 81p £117.4m (EPWN.L)

Announces that the Company’s Chairman, Andrew Eastgate, will make the following statement in respect of current trading at today’s AGM: “I am pleased to report a continued strong trading performance in the first four months of the year, with revenues to 30 April 2022 15% ahead of a strong comparative period in 2021. Demand remains robust, particularly from the key RMI market”. “Material costs, particularly PVC resin, have continued to increase during the year, mainly as a result of the tragic events in Ukraine. The Group’s strong relationships with its PVC resin suppliers have ensured it has been able to secure material supply. The Group continues to work with its customers to pass these costs on equitably through price increases and surcharges and remains confident in its ability to manage further cost inflation. The Group continues to make progress in pursuing its strategic objectives, including value enhancing acquisitions, and expects to make further market share gains whilst managing the challenges that the current operating environment presents. The Group retains a strong balance sheet and as at 30 April the Group had in excess of £55m of headroom on its banking facilities. The Board remains confident of achieving its expectations in 2022, whilst mindful of the widely reported challenging macro-economic conditions. “Looking further ahead, the strength of the medium and long-term drivers of growth in our markets gives the Board confidence in the outlook for the Group. The UK has an ageing and under invested housing stock and there is an increasing focus on environmental, energy efficiency and safety concerns. Additionally, the lockdowns of the last few years have stimulated demand for home, garden and leisure spending, alongside the desire of consumers to create workspace in the home. The Board will update shareholders further in our half year trading update.”

Frontier IP Group 68.5p £37.7m (FIPP.L)

Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, today announces that portfolio company Cambridge Raman Imaging has raised £1.1m through an equity funding round from existing and new investors. The fundraising values CRI at £6.1m post new money. Frontier IP invested £334k in the round and now holds a 26.8% equity stake in the Company. The investment included a £95k loan conversion with the remainder being made in cash. CRI will invest the proceeds to accelerate commercialisation of its high-speed Raman imaging technology and artificial intelligence (AI) supported diagnostics, initially for use in medical devices to diagnose and support treatment of diseases, such as cancer. In particular, the Company aims to further develop the first commercial prototype of a Raman imaging microscope, image generation, and the AI software. It has signed a collaboration agreement with Motic, a maker of medical imaging devices. The technology uses graphene-based ultra-fast fibre lasers to generate hyperspatial digital images of patient tissue which are analysed by the AI. Because the images are digital, they remove the need for intrusive chemical staining of tissue and can be viewed remotely. This allows histopathologists to work more efficiently and to support regions and countries short of qualified staff. In the longer term, the technology has the potential to support more personalised treatments for cancer.

Newmark Security 33.5p £3.1m (NWT.L)

The provider of electronic and physical security systems, today provides an update on trading for the year ended 30 April 2022. Confirmation of FY 2022 year-on-year revenue growth, driven by Human Capital Management sales in the US. Product innovation and efficient software systems have enhanced our solutions offering, driving new client contracts. Product initiatives are set to increase recurring revenues, an area of strategic focus. Continued to invest in people and infrastructure to fuel sustainable growth. As noted in the Company’s half year report, announced on 27 January 2022, sharp increases in componentry and freight costs have impacted the Group’s margins. However, the Company has implemented a programme of strict cost management and increased its prices to mitigate the effect of higher input and freight costs. This has resulted in reduced losses for the second half of the year compared to H1.

Strix Group 191.6p £397.6m (KETL.L)

The global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of kettle safety controls and other complementary water temperature management components has been invited to be part of official platinum Jubilee celebrations. Strix will be involved in an exclusive book and launch event to commemorate HM The Queen’s official Platinum Jubilee. Strix is one of the select companies to be featured in the Official Platinum Jubilee Pageant Commemorative Album and Claridge’s Launch Event taking place, due to its commitment to sustainability and innovation. The hardback book is written by royal authors Robert Jobson and Katie Nicholl, with contributions from Tom Parker Bowles. It will be launched during the Jubilee pageant on Sunday 5th June, with an exclusive event at Claridge’s Hotel, London. The Commemorative Album features a double page spread interview with Strix CEO Mark Bartlett, discussing the history of the business, its growth, innovations, and commitment to producing sustainable products. The Company will have a presence at the exclusive Claridge’s event, which will be attended by royal correspondents and more than 400 specially invited guests. The stand will display products from Strix’s SDA, water filtration and wellness brands, Aqua Optima and LAICA, including the Aurora Instant Hot and Cold Water Dispenser, which saves water and energy by only boiling the water required and plays a role in in reducing the use of single-use plastics. The event will also see an exclusive preview of Visione, the first auto shut-off induction hob top kettle to be launched in the UK.

Yourgene 8.25p £59.7m (YGEN.L)

The international molecular diagnostics group, announces the launch of Yourgene’s Accelerator Phase for its Microdeletions Plugin which expands on the clinical menu and capabilities of the class leading IONA® Nx NIPT Workflow offering. This Accelerator Phase follows a successful pilot project with a key partner and IONA® Nx lab customer, LifeStrands Genomics, a leading clinical and translational genomics group based in Singapore. This Accelerator Phase allows the Company to collaborate with new laboratory partners or existing customers, and is anticipated to run until later this year. The analysis Plugin has been designed for use with the IONA® Nx NIPT Workflow and is compatible within Yourgene’s wider NIPT testing portfolio, broadening the Company’s offering. The Plugin tests for microdeletions ≥3Mb in size, that are linked to a number of chromosomal syndromes including Di George, Prader Willi & Angelman, 1p36 deletion, Cri du Chat and Wolf Hirschhorn syndromes. The IONA® Nx NIPT Workflow is an in vitro nucleic acid screening test that measures the likelihood that a pregnant woman is carrying a fetus with Trisomy 13, 18 or 21, as well as optional additional chromosomal abnormalities. It is a laboratory-based test that has been developed to run on the Illumina’s NextSeq 550Dx instrument, a next generation sequencing platform.

24 May 2022
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP or retained by Hybridan LLP for certain services
** Arranged by most recent first
*** Alphabetically arranged


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