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Volex’s y/e update points to revenue and adj. operating profit of over $440m and $41m, 9% and 5% ahead of our expectation. Results have benefited from 187% revenue growth in EVs and strong consumer electronics demand. Operating margins grew to 9.3% (FY20: 8.1%) and, absent higher margin acquisitions, we now expect gradual progress towards management’s 10% target, as an appropriate balance is struck between revenue growth and profitability. The drive to be the lowest cost producer of quality product, leveraging the Group’s global platform, is a core objective underpinning growth ambitions. Our updated adj. EPS growth - 14% for FY22E and 9% for FY23E - is cautiously framed in the context of the increased investment now being committed to drive revenue growth. The recent DE-KA acquisition is performing strongly and alongside further accretive moves, Volex should continue to deliver.
Companies: Volex plc
Capital Limited (LSE: CAPD) this morning provided its Q1 2021 trading update. Q1 revenue is the strongest since the company's inception and is in line with our estimates, as are the other operational metrics.
Companies: Capital Limited
Clean FY20 EPS beat our expectations by 5%, but the real story of these results is that EBITDA came in ahead of our November 2019 forecast. EBITDA rose 64% through acquisitions, but management has extended its record of improving the returns of acquired businesses. We raise our EBITDA forecasts by c.10% across the forecast period to reflect only the recent Belgian transactions. We raise our target price to 92p per share, set at 10x EV/EBITDA. With these acquisitions now in place, the group has reached critical mass with four platforms and strong enough cash flows to self-fund acquisitions and other opportunities.
Companies: SigmaRoc Plc
Semper Fortis Esports* recently announced its intention to IPO onto the Access Segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. Semper is a multi-operational Esports organisation focusing on gaming technology solutions, brand enhancement and high growth team infrastructures. The company plans to raise £2.5m to develop their three core areas of establishing an esports team, forming partnerships with brands for sponsorship and B2B consultancy services. The Board are highly experienced in sports and corporate deal making (Keith Harris, former Chairman of The Football League), technology and electronic gaming (Nolan Bushnell, founder of the pioneering company, Atari), esports and game tech (Kevin Soltani and Jassem Osseiran) and as FD Max Deeley. Target Admission Date of 26 April. Dispersion Holdings PLC, an investor in the high growth FinTech sector within the UK, the USA and Canada, has announced its intention to IPO on the Access Segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. The Board intends to deploy the majority of the Company’s cash resources in the acquisition of minority interests in a number of different, yet to be identified, companies in the broad FinTech sector, and to apply expertise to the business operations and strategic plans of these companies. Target Admission Date of 30 April. Darktrace plc. Intends to float on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (premium). Darktrace was founded in 2013 with a mission to fundamentally transform the ability of organisations to defend their most critical assets in the face of rising cyber threats. Darktrace is a world-leading provider of AI for the enterprise, with the first at-scale in-the-enterprise deployment of AI in cyber security Due early May, musicMagpie is a leader in re-commerce in the UK and US in the circular economy of consumer technology (including smartphones, tablets, consoles and personal computers), books and disc media (including CDs, DVDs and video games). Expected 28 April. Offer details TBA Wickes to demerge from Travis Perkins and list on the Main Market. Expected 28 April. Thor Explorations (TSXV:THX) seeking a secondary listing on AIM. The Company is targeting Admission during Q2 21. Segun Lawson, President & CEO, stated: “Thor Explorations has advanced significantly, in both project development and capitalisation since the acquisition of Segilola in 2016. This year, the Company is well positioned to achieve two major milestones with the commencement of gold production at Segilola in Nigeria and a maiden resource at Douta in Senegal, as well as continuing to progress our highly prospective Nigerian exploration portfolio on the Ilesha Schist belt.” PensionBee has confirmed its intention to float on the High Growth Segment of the Main Market of LSE. The online pension provider had approximately 130,000 Active Customers and £1.5bn of assets under administration as at 28 February 2021. The Offer will comprise new Shares raising gross proceeds of approximately £55m and existing Shares to be sold by certain existing small minority shareholders of up to £5m. None of the founders, directors or members of senior management of PensionBee are selling any existing Shares. Expected in April. Imperial X (AQSE:IMPP) to join the Main Market (standard). It is also proposed that on Admission to the Official List, the Company will change its name to Cloudbreak Discovery Plc. With effect from Admission, Imperial X will hold equity positions and royalties in a variety of projects in the natural resources sector across multiple jurisdictions, primarily in the Americas and Africa. The Company is proposing to raise up to £1.5m by way of placing of new Ordinary Shares to support further prospect acquisitions. Current Mkt cap £4.7m Expected April. Proposed move to AIM from the main market (standard) by Emmerson (EML.L) to provide Emmerson with access to a market and environment which is more suited, in the Board's view, to the Company's current size and strategy ahead of pivotal period for the Company with the commencement of mine construction at the Khemisset Potash Project expected by end of 2021. Follows recent award of Mining Licence granting Emmerson exclusive right to develop and mine the potash deposit and £5.5m raise to fund ongoing project development work. Due 27 April.
Companies: KIBO MTW GWI MTR DUKE ITM GDR MSMN CMCL PTRO
AFC Energy announced a fundraising of £36m consisting of an oversubscribed placing with institutional shareholders amounting to £31.2m and a £4.8m strategic investment from ABB (£3.25m) and Dutco (£1.50m). The equity capital raise was priced at 64.5p representing a modest discount of approximately 5% relative to the prior day's closing price. The robust support shown by the capital raise suggests, in our opinion, that the strengths of AFC Energy's technology, its commercial positioning and the growth opportunity afforded by each of AFC Energy's addressable markets have been recognised by the institutional market. The expansion of AFC Energy's strategic partnership with ABB, now a shareholder, into the data centre market is potentially transformative. We outline in this note the potential implications of that development, while deferring the implications of that development on our fair value estimate until we have undertaken more analysis. We place our fair value estimate under review for an upgrade.
Companies: AFC Energy plc
AFC has announced a £36m equity issue with £3.3m from ABB, £1.5m from Dutco and £31.2m from institutional investors. It has also announced that its partnership with ABB will develop a new product offering to serve the data centre market. While the extra share count marginally dilutes our existing valuation (from 191p to 184p) we expect this to be more than offset by the profit opportunity in data centres and in the marine/rail markets that are being explored in conjunction with Ricardo. We will quantify these issues in a future report, but we are confident that the addressable markets for AFC are vast and it has a good chance of succeeding in them.
XPD is a profitable and well-established pan-European freight management and logistics operator. We selected the Group as one of our Top Picks for 20211. XPD has reported 2020a adjusted PBT up nearly 40% y-o-y. Margins expanded to 3.3% from 2.4%, driven by better trading, particularly in freight forwarding in Q4, and with cost savings from restructuring. XPD has rebuilt its senior management team, completed recently by Michael Williamson joining as CFO. The fundamentals are sound with £6.8m of net cash. Q1 2021e trading is reportedly ahead of management expectations but at this stage our estimates assume cautious growth through the year. More strategically, as Covid-19 disruption clears, we think UK and European customers will refocus on supply chain resilience, and Central & Eastern European (CEE) countries will become even more attractive as manufacturing venues. This strongly favours XPD’s capacity and expertise. Generally, as an experienced pan-European operator, XPD has plenty of opportunities to accelerate growth. Organically in forwarding, pallet networks and support services for haulage sub-contractors, and through selected acquisitions. Reflecting a more positive outlook for earnings, our valuation is lifted from 45p to 70p, c.20% upside to the current share price. XPD also offers an attractive dividend.
Companies: Xpediator Plc
Anglo Asian Mining* (AAZ LN) - STRONG BUY – Quarterly production update and CY21 guidance
Botswana Diamonds (BOD LN) – Moving to a further stage of drilling at Thorny River
Capital Limited (CAPD LN) – Q1 2021 delivers strongest ever quarterly revenue
GoldStone Resources* (GRL LN) – Update paves way for production ramp-up at Homase
Kenmare Resources (KMR LN) - Q1 production rises on higher grade and production despite Covid-19 isolation for management and staff
Rainbow Rare Earths* (RBW LN) – Temporary suspension of REE concentrate exports
Serabi Gold* (SRB LN) –– Grade improvements drive higher Q1 gold production
Companies: CAPD AAZ BOD GRL KMR RBW SRB
The UK market showed a continued recovery in the first quarter albeit the indices are still well short of their all-time peaks, unlike many of their international peers. The FTSE 100 has risen by 1,186 points (21.4%) since the end of October and the FTSE 250 by 4,304 points (25.0%). The comparable performance since the start of the year is less spectacular- the FTSE 100 has risen by 253 points (3.9%) and the FTSE 250 has risen by 1,070 points (5.0%). The factors behind the sustained rally are familiar. The belief that the roll-out of the vaccine and some relaxation of lockdown limitations will lead to a significant economic recovery, compared to the collapse seen in the first half of 2020, due to lockdowns. Indeed, the recent economic picture is becoming more optimistic than previous expectations. According to the ONS, the economy grew a little more than initially estimated in Q4 last year. This means GDP for 2020 as a whole contracted by 9.8%, revised up marginally but still the worst contraction on record. Markets, in general, have focused upon the potential scope and extent of the recovery. The sectors and stocks that have outperformed have been seen as ‘recovery’ plays with a rotation from stocks seen as ‘lockdown’ winners into those set to benefit from the ‘unlocking of society’ and/or exposed to the consumer. We expect 2021 will continue to be a “stock-picker’s” market. The sharp increase in the household savings ratio in Q4 highlights the scope for a recovery driven by expenditure. As further lockdown limitations are lifted, evidence of this growth will help to underpin the more optimistic outlook for Q2 and beyond.
Companies: AMYT ARBB BPC BAG BVC BEG BONH BLVN BRSD CML CWK CRPR EYE ECHO FDM FAR FA/ GPH GSF HUW INSE JDG KAPE KP2 MACF MPAC MNZS NESF NBI OTMP OBD PREM QFI RUA SCS SEN SOS SUR TON TOU TXP TGL TCN UEM VLS WYN
Billington provides structural steel and safety solutions to the construction industry. Against the backdrop of pandemic induced disruption through 2020, and set against the record performance of 2019, Billington has reported a solid and profitable performance in FY2020. Set against a record high comparative period, Group revenue decreased 37% to £66.0m with adj. profit before tax reducing to £1.7m (FY2019: £5.9m). Adj. EPS fell commensurately to 11.3p (FY2019: 39.8p) and, as a mark of confidence, Billington reintroduced a final dividend of 4.25p, covered 2.7x (in line with historic cover). Our newly introduced FY2021E estimates (adj. PBT £2.2m) reflect the duality of a relatively robust opening order book (75% higher YoY), but set against caution with respect to margin pressure given cost inflation in the supply chain. The medium term outlook is likely to be buoyed by infrastructure investment in key markets BILN serves, albeit pricing volatility is a key risk. Billington's cash rich balance sheet positions it well to weather potential future uncertainties, whilst others likely fall by the wayside. We see fair value at 375p.
Companies: Billington Holdings Plc
Brickability is a leading supplier of bricks and other building materials to the UK construction industry, and is well-positioned to consolidate the fragmented UK building products supplier space. The company has undertaken four acquisitions since its IPO in 2019, which adds to some twelve acquisit
Companies: Brickability Group PLC
Volex has reported interim results that are in-line with expectations following a strong trading update in mid-October. Of far greater significance is today’s announcement of the proposed acquisition of DEKA for a consideration of up to €61.8m on a debt free basis. DEKA is a leading and highly profitable power cord manufacturer, strategically located in Turkey, that serves leading European white goods manufacturers. The acquisition should close in early CY2021, subject to expected Turkish Competition Authority approval. We foresee 15% earnings enhancement in FY2022E with further opportunities for revenue synergies with Volex in the Far East as its operations also vertically integrate, production efficiencies increase and the cost of production falls. The statement highlights that pro forma net debt/EBITDA remains under 0.4x and this provides scope for further bolt-on acquisitions alongside a new $70m RCF and $30m accordion, also announced with the interims.
FY 21 EBIT slightly ahead of our estimates. Net debt much better than expected, we expect through working capital discipline and crucially management guides to no rights issue. £1.7bn of impairments and charges – mostly non-cash, unlike Serco’s review where there was a significant cash drag from the OCP. The review of contract profitability has reduced the long term margin take and profits by c. £30m p.a. We reduce FY 22 EBIT by 7% from £340m to £315m, lower than feared. Buy, TP 350p
Companies: Babcock International Group PLC
Power reliability and drilling tools specialist Northbridge Industrial Services has signalled a more focused strategy to exploit further growth opportunities in the USA and Europe for its higher return Crestchic electrical testing division and to pursue the potential disposal of the Tasman drilling tools unit. Its FY 2020A results, released this morning, were in line with our expectations for a modest increase in adjusted PBT and fall in net debt. We have introduced estimates for FY2021F, which show a more marked increase in profitability, helped by the third consecutive year of record equipment orders at Crestchic. On a FY2021F EV/EBITDA of 4.4x, we see the shares as an attractive turnaround situation.
Companies: Northbridge Industrial Services plc
XP reported another robust quarter for order intake (+7% y-o-y, +38% q-o-q in constant currency), strengthening the backlog for the coming quarters. Demand from the semiconductor manufacturing sector remains strong and demand from the industrial technology sector has started to rebound, more than compensating for the moderation in orders from the healthcare sector. Management reiterates its outlook for underlying revenue growth in FY21 and we maintain our forecasts.
Companies: XP Power Ltd.