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2019 has been a transformative year for Velocys, setting the company up for further progress in the current year and beyond. Despite COVID 19 restrictions the company has continued to develop with the current year seeing further funding secured, the delivery of reactors to Red Rock Biofuels and the securing of planning permission at the Altalto sustainable aviation fuel project. The JDA at Altalto has also been strengthened with British Airways and Shell providing a further £1m funding. Demand for sustainable fuel, especially for aviation, and for negative carbon solutions is growing and Velocys is one of the few companies able to deliver here.
Companies: Velocys Plc
Checkit has released another positive update, one that reveals robust trading has continued into Q2 (possibly the business’ most challenging quarter). This thereby provides optimism that growth may rebound sooner than anticipated (FY20 CKT Europe growth: +30%). The update splits out Q1 & Q2: LFL revs +13% in Q1. For Q2 – and as anticipated - progress did moderate: LFL sales c.-11%. Importantly however, this outcome is better than internal expectations and worth noting also: even during Q2, recurring revenue grew – both y/y and sequentially. For H1 as a whole, LFL recurring revs grew an impressive 23% to £2.3m, total sales meanwhile grew +2% to £6.4m. Success in ‘recurring growth‘ can be attributed to CKT UK (acquired 2019) and its strong presence within the healthcare sector. Here the division has benefitted from new installations and the conversion of existing annual calibration and maintenance agreements to all-inclusive subscription contracts. CKT also updates the market on cash – currently £13.4m. Through this reflects a £0.5m benefit of a repaid loan (so u/l: £12.9m) this still means that YTD cash burn has been modest – evidencing that CKT has responded actively to CV19. We leave forecasts U/R for now and look forward to interims (16/09/20) for a further update on trading. The company continues to fascinate following its landmark BP deal and wider mission: to become a leading provider of cloud-based Connected Workflow Management and Automated Monitoring solutions.
Companies: Checkit Plc
The investment in feedstock provision for the Uskmouth power station conversion adds an element of de-risking at a crucial time for financing the project in our view. The deal increases feedstock options and allows SIMEC Atlantis exposure to additional profit in a potentially improving waste management market. The proposed c.£6m funding also provides additional resource to the £9.4m cash announced at the end of June, allowing the company to continue to move forward on several fronts.
Companies: SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd.
Drax is a major enabler of the energy transition. It is the only UK investment opportunity of scale that can offer exposure to BECCS, long duration storage and low carbon spinning reserve, all essential to deliver what is now a legal requirement for net zero emissions by 2050. We initiate coverage with a central case valuation of 505p.
Companies: Drax Group Plc
Yesterday's update from CSSG reconfirms the positives highlighted in the company's trading update on June 8th, notably the slight impact of Covid-19, the strong cash position, and the success of its premium guarding services. On the back of these drivers, the dividend is to be reinstated at a 0.75p level for an interim DPS to be paid on September 4th, and this in itself should serve to reflect the company's confidence in the outlook. In so doing, the Board is carrying through on its promise to review the original decision to suspend, taken early in lockdown, and paying tribute to the resilience of the business.
Companies: Croma Security Solutions Group Plc
In a positive year-end trading update, Lok’nStore has detailed FY 2020 self-storage revenue was up +6.3% (ahead of our forecast +3.2%). This was driven by occupancy +5.9% and pricing down slightly at -0.3%. Following more subdued trading during the full lockdown, May, June and July have been stronger, with new enquiries and move-ins at an all-time high in July. Two new stores were opened in the year and one immediately after the year end. Early trading at all three stores has been encouraging. Planning has been received at Salford (expected to open early 2021) and contracts exchanged on a new site in Kettering. Finances remain strong with a proforma loan to value ratio of 19.8% (our forecast 20.6%) and gross cash of £12.8m. Following the recent one-year extension, the group’s £75m facility runs to April 2025. Overall, Lok’nStore looks to have traded better through lockdown than we forecast, and July activity bodes well for the short term. However, our focus is on the continued success of the long-term strategy, and it is here that the strong pipeline of new stores and conservative gearing stands out. As this pipeline is delivered, investors can look forward to added sales momentum and earnings growth over the medium term which will, in turn, support further increases in dividends.
Companies: Lok 'n' Store Group Plc
In a Trading Update for the six months to 31 July 2020 Checkit reports that, on a normalised basis, recurring revenue rose 23.4% YoY to £1.9m, whilst non-recurring revenue, on the same basis declined by 6.8% YoY to £4.3m. Normalised data is based on ownership of Checkit UK for the whole period - Checkit UK was acquired on 14 May 2019. Facing the circumstances occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic the Group continues to base planning on recurring revenues which have remained resilient, in contrast to a contraction in installation and project-based non-recurring revenue streams. Total H1 ‘20 revenue rose 2.3% YoY to £6.4m compared to £6.2m, normalised, in H1 ‘19 (£3.2m on an actual basis).
Inspiration Healthcare has announced its intention to acquire SLE Limited (SLE), a leading neonatal ventilator designer and manufacturer for consideration of £18.0m. Inspiration Healthcare has conditionally raised £16.5m (gross, ahead of an open offer) via an oversubscribed equity placing to support the acquisition. We believe the acquisition represents a transformation deal, virtually doubling the size of the business and providing significant new revenue growth opportunities. We expect the acquisition, on a 12-month proforma basis to be accretive to adjusted earnings in the near-term and increasingly so in the medium-term. We reiterate our Buy recommendation.
Companies: Inspiration Healthcare Group Plc
Xaar has issued an update highlighting that trading for the six months to 30 June has been in line with the Board’s expectations and that good progress is being made in implementing the new strategy. H1 revenue is noted to be £23.7m, a 7% decline relative to H1 FY2019, but sequentially in line with H2 FY2019. In the Printhead business, sales are no longer being made through distributors and OEM customers are now re-engaging with the group. New product development in printheads remains key to reversing market share losses over the last few years. Product Print Systems is marginally ahead in revenue terms in the first half, which is below plan, and Xaar 3D is noted as making good progress in testing despite lockdown restrictions. The balance sheet is strong with cash and cash equivalents of £23.9m. Financial guidance remains withdrawn, given the shorter term uncertainties, with the Board focused on a return to profitability in FY2022. The shares trade at c.0.6-0.7x EV/sales, excluding cash ring fenced in Xaar 3D of $7.25m at 19 November 2019 and the potential payment of $33m should Stratasys exercise its call option over the 55% of Xaar 3D that it currently doesn’t own.
Companies: Xaar Plc
Seeing Machines has released a trading update demonstrating the business is performing better than expected on key metrics: Revenues of A$39.7m were 13% ahead of our expectations of $35.1m and cash of A$38.7m was 21% ahead of our expectations of A$32.0m. We believe this strong end to the financial year reflects the continued demand for the company's Fleet product by sophisticated fleet owners and that the key home markets of Australia and New Zealand have been less affected by COVID than feared. We believe this strong cash performance should reduce the perceived funding risk weighting and help the valuation recover towards previous levels. We iterate our Buy recommendation and 7.2p price target.
Companies: Seeing Machines Ltd.
Construction and engineering services company nmcn’s decision to reinstate dividends demonstrates, in our view, the Group’s confidence in prospects following a largely promising first half, which was disrupted by Covid and operational challenges on the completion of a major infrastructure scheme. We are reintroducing estimates that assume a return to revenue growth and margin recovery, fuelled by the PM’s pledge to “build, build, build” across several of nmcn’s core infrastructure and building sectors.
Companies: nmcn plc
COVID-19 update – continuing to operate, div. suspended
Companies: Scapa Group Plc
Swedish Stirling is building momentum with the signing of a new agreement with Glencore for an additional 88 PWR BLOK waste gas to energy units. This deal is with South Africa’s largest ferro chrome smelter and shows that the company’s technology is gaining acceptance as a go to solution in the industry in South Africa. Swedish Stirling has benefited from its in-country team which has meant that COVID 19 restrictions has not prevented progress. The company now has a strong pipeline of deals which should drive sales in future years.
Companies: GLEN GLEN STRLNG
TP Group's FY19A results were in line with our expectations, with strong organic revenue growth of +16% YoY. Whilst the business remains resilient, with a large net cash position and a record order book, COVID-19 has caused uncertainty around the timing of some pipeline opportunities. Therefore, in line with a number of other companies, TP Group is withdrawing market guidance. We also withdraw our forecasts and place our recommendation Under Review.
Companies: TP Group Plc
Solid State is a manufacturer of computing, power and communications products, and value added distributor of electronic components. This morning, the group has provided a further update on trading in light of the present COVID-19 backdrop, ahead of full year results to 31 March 2020 due to be released on 30 June.
Cadence today provides and update on the Amapá iron ore project in Brazil. The Amapá JV (EV Mineração S.A.), in which Cadence can earn an initial 20% of the project, is understood to be on track to begin shipping stockpiled iron ore from late Q2 / early Q3 2020. Finalisation of the negotiation with the secured creditors still needs to be reached, but the Amapá JV partners are engaging constructively. In preparation for shipping, a trucking contractor has been hired to move key equipment to site and a shipping manager and shipping broker have been engaged.
This morning's update from CSSG confirms the positive direction of travel highlighted when the company published H1 results in March. With comparators still challenging (because of one-off work in the prior year), and “light” Covid-19 impacts in recent months, the expected £1.6m EBITDA flagged by the company seems a creditable number, still within touching distance of historical performance in both EBITDA and PBTA terms. Net cash, moreover, even after three months of the Covid-19 crisis, is reported to still be higher than the £2.4m which the company reports it had at the start (which in turn represents an increase on the £2.3m as at 31 December 2019). Not surprisingly, having suspended payment of the dividend a couple of months ago, the Board is now proposing to have another look at this question, at least in relation to the half year dividend.
PTY's announcement this morning flags a change in the CFO role with the new appointee benefiting from extensive experience in developing digital businesses to their full potential, both in overall and in financial leadership positions. His arrival follows on from highly proactive action led by the previous finance director, delivering a platform for growth once the current uncertain circumstances have abated.
Companies: KDNC CSSG PTY SOLI