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Reach’s prelims were ahead of N1S estimates for H2 sales and EBITDA (1% and 3% resp.) and showed excellent progress with both the customer value strategy (‘CVS’) and business transformation agenda. Whilst FY’20 Group sales were 15% y/y lower as CV19 impacted Print, Digital revenue grew +11% y/y to £118m (H2: +20% to £70m), supported by a strong uptick in user engagement with content (page views/user: +39% y/y) and further progress in signing up new registered users (Feb’21: 5.8m; Dec’20: 5.0m; Dec’19: 0.7m). Meanwhile quick action to mitigate CV19 impact on Print volumes and execution on the business transformation plan saw AOP margins increase 50bps y/y, with Group H2 AOP down just 4% y/y (FY’20: -13%). Looking ahead, there were highly encouraging results from initial campaigns on the Group’s ReachID platform (+10%-40% uplift in click-through rates on early campaigns), whilst further cost savings of £11m are announced through rationalisation of the Group’s Print sites. Strong cash performance was reflected in £42m of cash inflow (post pension and historic legal and contractual payments), which gives management confidence to declare a final cash dividend of 4.26p/share. The path to sustainable top-line and FCF growth remain very much open, with FY’21E adj FCF of £120m generating an 11% yield at current valuation.
Companies: Reach plc
CentralNic released unaudited preliminary 2020 results showing pro forma 9% revenue growth, ahead of expectations (ZC: 4%). The company continues to take market share in a growing market. EBITDA was in line with consensus expectations but below our top of consensus forecasts. CNIC is increasing investment in new products and integration, which we expect to continue in 2021 and provide net returns in 2022. The company’s results demonstrate its ability to integrate, scale and extract synergies from acquisitions. We see potential earnings upside from the Codewise acquisition and expect CNIC to deliver further significant earnings accretive acquisitions in 2021.
Companies: CentralNic Group Plc
Reach plc today provides a strong Q4 trading update highlighting upgraded FY’20E AOP expectations of £130m-£135m ahead of consensus (cons: £124.3m) and record growth in Digital. Digital sales growth has recovered strongly since Q2, accelerating to 25% y/y (Q3: +13%; H1: -1%) benefitting from both higher traffic through implementation of Group engagement initiatives and yield recovery as advertisers in CV19 impacted verticals return. Print circulation revenue decline moderated to 11.7% y/y in Q4 (Q3: -12.6%), a significant deceleration from the -18.2% y/y in H2 and modestly better than our H2 forecasts. Continued focus on audience engagement, the quality of audience data and insights, and further extension of locally focused digital content we see driving further gains online, with Digital sales still on track to double on a four year view. We are upgrading forecasts, increasing FY’20E sales, AOP and adj FCF by 2%, 6% and 5% respectively, with upgrades filtering into future periods. A 17% FY’21E FCF yield sits well in advance of global peers (3%-7%), with a 10% FCF yield generating an intrinsic valuation of 315p/share.
AMTE Power, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, announced its intention to seek admission to trading on AIM. Admission is expected to take place during March 2021. The Company intends to raise approximately £7m by way of a placing of new ordinary shares in the capital of the Company. Timing TBC. Samarkand Group Limited, the cross-border eCommerce technology and retail group opening up the world's largest market for brands and retailers, intends to IPO on the Apex Segment Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. Admission is targeted for March 2021. Cellular Goods a UK-based provider of premium consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids announced its intention to join the main market (standard) this Spring. Target valuation £20m raising c. £8m “to finalise the development and launch of a range of the Company's premium-quality consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids, which is fully compliant under UK law.” NextEnergy Renewables to launch an IPO on the Main Market. NREN is a differentiated renewables investment Company that aims to capture the most attractive private renewables and energy transition infrastructure investment opportunities globally. Targeting a £300m raise. NREN is targeting total returns of 9-11 per cent. per annum (net of all fees and expenses but including the Target Dividend and capital appreciation) . The Company's target dividend yield for the first full financial year to 31 December 2022 is 5.5 pence. Due Early March 2021. Auction Technology Group is considering an IPO on the Main Market. The Group operates six world-leading online Marketplaces and proprietary global auction platform technology for curated online auctions. In FY20 the Group delivered pro forma revenue of £52.3m, supported by notable underlying year-on-year growth from both Standalone ATG Group and Standalone Proxibid Group (12.4 per cent. and 40.4 per cent., respectively). For the same period, the Group delivered a strong profitability performance of £22.3m pro forma Adjusted EBITDA representing a pro forma Adjusted EBITDA margin of 42.6 per cent. Expected March 2021. Digital 9 Infrastructure launch an initial public offering on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, by way of an initial placing and offer for subscription for a target issue £400m. Digital 9 Infrastructure plc is a newly established, externally managed investment trust. The Company will invest in a range of digital infrastructure assets which deliver a reliable, functioning internet. The IPO Prospectus is expected to be published in March 2021. Team PLC announced their plans for an AIM IPO. Team owns Theta Enhanced Asset Management Ltd, trading as Team Asset Management. This is a Jersey-based active fund manager providing discretionary and advisory portfolio management services to private clients, trusts and charities. Assets under management were GBP291m in November, up from GBP140m in December 2019 . The Company is seeking to raise no less than £5 million. The Placing will be priced on a pre-money valuation for the Company of £7m. Targeting March Admission. Virgin Wines UK Plc recently set out their plans for an AIM IPO. Virgin Wines is a direct-to-consumer online wine retailer that sells products to retail customers in the UK through two subscription schemes and a pay-as-you-go offering. The Group also sells a range of beers and spirits and operates a B2B sales channel for corporates. Deal details TBC but media reports suggest a £100m valuation. Targeting 2nd March Admission Fix Price announces its intention to float on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Fix Price is one of the leading variety value retailers globally and the largest in Russia, with more than 4,200 stores. Fix Price has revenues of RUB 190.1bn, RUB 142.9bn and RUB 108.7bn for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA for the same years was RUB 36.8bn, RUB 27.2bn and RUB 14.2bn, respectively. The Offer would consist of an offering of GDRs by certain existing shareholders of the Company. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC announced its prospectus has been approved by the FCA. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC is a newly established, externally managed closed-ended investment company. The Company will provide project finance to content makers and commissioners in the global television and film production industry via senior loans secured against pre-sold intellectual property (IP) rights. GPEIT's investment objective is to provide Shareholders with dividend income and modest capital growth through exposure to media content finance. According to media reports, Deliveroo, are expecting to release their IPO plans on 8th March. The company raised more than $180m in January with a valuation of more than $7bn.
Companies: OTMP MNO FNX NSCI CNIC CHAR RBD CLP DXSP CUSN
Upon Admission to AIM, Nightcap will acquire The London Cocktail Club Limited (the "London Cocktail Club"), which is an award winning independent operator of ten individually themed cocktail bars in nine London locations and one location in Bristol. Offer TBC. HSS Hire Group, HSS.L transfer from Main to Aim. Mkt Cap c. £70m. Recently raised £52.6m. Leading supplier of tool and equipment for hire in the United Kingdom and Ireland and has provided equipment hire services in the United Kingdom for more than 60 years, primarily focusing on the B2B market. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
Companies: PMI RMM SUN BOIL ITM TRMR MLVN 88E IME ANP
Cornish Metals (TSX-V: CUSN) intends to list on AIM. The Company is proposing to raise £5 million by way of private placement of new Common Shares (the "Fundraising") to advance the United Downs copper-tin project. The Company expects that Admission will become effective in February 2021. The Company's Common Shares will continue to be listed and trade on the TSX-V in Canada. Further media reports that Dr Martens, the British Boot brand is planning an IPO on the LSE. It is currently owned by PE group, Permira who is expected to sell down its stake at the IPO. March 2020 YE the group had revenues of £672m and EBITDA of £184m. Deal size TBC. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Due by Early Feb. Moonpig, the digital greeting card company, is planning an IPO with a potential valuation of £1bln, according to multiple media reports. Further details expected to be announced over the next two weeks.
Companies: ZPHR PANR PRSM SENS CYAN G4M ITX CRCL FEN ZIN
I wake up in my DFS (DFS) bed with a Gin and Fevertree (FEVR) hangover, place a trade on my phone through CMC Markets (CMCX), have a quick go on my Hornby (HRN) train set, eat half a box of Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), all before heading out in my brand spanking new Joules (JOUL) wellies to my local Metro Bank (MTRO) branch. All of these well-known consumer brands share a common theme in that they are all listed or quoted on the London Stock Exchange. It’s been a year so far reminiscent of 2014 when we saw a flurry of large brands rush for the IPO door such as Pets at Home (PETS), Saga (SAGA), AA (AA) and Poundland (PLND). Most looking for a private equity exit. The IPO adventure of these companies tends to be fairly boiler plate: the valuation is a battleground between the exiting private equity house and incoming institutional investors, the book is many times covered and the scale backs are eye watering. But what makes these companies more alluring to investors than a company nobody has ever heard of which in fact may be profitable, dividend paying and ultimately, on a lower valuation?
Companies: CMCX CSP VMUK WJG ACRL ASCL
De La Rue remains challenged. New management has to navigate a difficult Currency market and consequent concern over its finances. The swift response in terms of a turnaround programme is a positive start, accelerating cost cutting initiatives and cash management measures, including suspension of the dividend. Restoring stability and rebuilding confidence in the investment case is likely to take some time.
Companies: De La Rue plc
Future has announced a pre-close trading update for H1’20 highlighting continued strong online audience growth which is further driving eCommerce and digital advertising revenue streams. Recent weeks have been unprecedented, however the Group continues to see limited impact to online consumer behavioural trends (Feb audience traffic: +2% month on month per ComScore), whilst in Magazine y/y growth in Grocers is partly offsetting declines in travel outlets. Key metrics are holding up well, and the Group expects to continue to trade in-line with expectations. Half year net cash of £47m-£53m is expected by management, implying FCF is ahead of our £18m H1 forecast (N1Se H1 net cash: £44.9m). The Group is a highly cash-generative business, and post TI acquisition (consideration: £140m) will enjoy £30m-£40m of headroom in debt facilities and plenty of comfort on covenants (1.0x net debt/pro forma EBITDA; covenant: <3.0x). The Group trades on a 6.6x EV/pro forma FY’20E EBITDA multiple (peers: 12x-17x), and offers an FY’21E FCF yield of 13.5% (peers: 3%-5%).
Companies: Future plc
Future’s H1 results highlight the benefits of the Group’s diverse revenue model. Group sales grew 33% y/y to £144.3m (organic: +11%; N1Se: £145.0m), with AOP up 77% to £39.9m (organic: +40%; N1Se: £38.7m). Organic Media sales growth of +21% y/y reflects strong online user growth, with H1 average monthly online users up +26% to 253m, driving eCommerce sales up +68% organic. Online audience growth rapidly accelerated post lockdown (+66% y/y in March) supported by gaming and Live Sciences verticals. Magazine revenues, particularly at TI Media, have been impacted by lockdown, yet the opportunity to leverage Future’s Vanilla platform and SEO expertise to drive growth in TI’s asset base remains significant. We make no changes to forecasts, yet with strong H1 performance, H2 forecasts look undemanding with risk to the upside. Future offers a 7.4% FY’21E FCF yield on our conservative forecasts.
Future today released an update highlighting FY’20E adj EBITDA which is trading towards the top-end of consensus (£86.3m-£91.0m; N1Se: £88.5m). Strong performance has been supported by acceleration of the consumer shift to digital, positive cost control and cost synergy extraction from the TI Media acquisition (c.£9m annualised savings delivered so far). Migration of TI Media sites to the Group’s Vanilla platform are underway, whilst Hawk (price comparison platform) has been successfully deployed on three key existing TI Media websites. TI Media represents a significant opportunity to drive strong EBITDA growth in the medium-term as the portfolio transitions to digital, whilst the Group also has a number of additional levers to drive outperformance against conservative consensus forecasts. We leave forecasts unchanged for now, although upside risk is building. Future offers a 7% FY’21E FCF yield on N1Se forecasts, peers offer closer to 4%.
Tremor has announced that December trading materially exceeded its prior estimates, as its platform’s momentum has continued to accelerate since its last update on 30 November. Tremor now expects FY20 revenue and EBITDA to be in the range of $404-408m for revenue (from $390-400m), and $58-60m for EBITDA (from $50-52m). This leads us to upgrade our FY20 and FY21 revenue forecasts by +2-3% to $406m and $479m, and upgrade our FY20 and FY21 EBITDA by +16% and +10% to $59m and $68m. As Tremor’s platform benefits from strong operational gearing, this drives upgrades to EPS of +28% in FY20 and +16% in FY21. Our net cash then increases by $11m in FY20 to $96m, and despite including $10m of buyback in FY21, our FY21 net cash increases by $12m to $117m as we partially unwind conservative working capital assumptions. This is the fourth upgrade to our Tremor forecasts since COVID-19 impacted the advertising market and Tremor in Q2 20, and Tremor subsequently adopted a prudent approach to its FY20 guidance. We continue to mirror this conservatism in our FY21 EBITDA of $68m, which compares with H2 20 EBITDA of $57m, and our FY21 EBITDA includes additional investment as Tremor looks to gain share within a market growing at over 20% pa. From p9 we also highlight that Tremor is demonstrating the same trends as its US ad tech peers Magnite, PubMatic, and The Trade Desk, with each forecasted to see +15-35% organic revenue growth and +10-60% organic EBITDA growth in FY21, as they focus on expanding in connected TV. However, Tremor is trading at a major discount to its US peers on all metrics, such as FY21 EV/EBITDA of 9x vs 41x, 29x and 104x, and at a discount to the finnCap Tech 40 on 17x with +9% EBITDA growth. As Tremor continues to deliver and exceed expectations, we do not expect that its current valuation will be sustainable due to market or external interest, and we upgrade our target price to 800p based on 20x FY21 EBITDA.
Companies: Tremor International Ltd.
CentralNic has made a small acquisition of SafeBrands, an online brand protection software provider and corporate ISP based in Paris, for a cash consideration of up to €3.6m (0.9x FY19 revenue). €3m is payable upfront and €0.6m will be paid subject to meeting FY20 performance objectives. SafeBrands operated at close to break-even in FY19. Separately, CentralNic has also reorganised its Corporate division, rebranding it as the Enterprise division. Based on our estimates, the company trades on an FY21e P/E multiple of 15.8x and 9.8x FY21e EV/adjusted EBITDA. We expect earnings-accretive M&A to bring multiples down further as CentralNic consolidates a globally fragmented market of sub-scale, cash-generative businesses.
Tremor’s listed peer Magnite has announced that it intends to acquire SpotX for $1.17bn in cash and shares, or c10x SpotX FY20 net revenue of $116m. After Tremor upgraded its FY20 net revenue to $180m in its January trading update, 10x net revenue would imply a Tremor valuation of $1.8bn or 1,000p per share. The SpotX transaction enables Magnite to grow its scale within connected TV and digital video advertising, and will provide Magnite with $67m of FY20 net CTV revenue, or almost triple Magnite-SpotX’s Q4 20 net CTV revenue to $42m compared to $15.3m for Magnite standalone. In comparison, we expect Tremor to report over $15m of net CTV revenue in Q4 20 and $35m for FY20 as Tremor’s momentum in CTV has continued to accelerate. However, before the Magnite-SpotX transaction, Magnite’s market cap was over $4.8bn compared with Tremor’s market cap of $1.0bn. As Tremor continues to deliver and exceed expectations, we do not expect that its current valuation will be sustainable due to market or external interest, and today’s transaction highlights that M&A is taking place around the growth in CTV and digital video that Tremor is capitalising upon. On 12-month forward forecasts, Tremor is currently trading on 13x EV/EBITDA with conservative EBITDA growth of +15%, which compares to US peers Magnite, The Trade Desk, and PubMatic on 61x, 114x, and 53x 12-month forward EV/EBITDA with EBITDA growth of +10-60%.