Small caps round-up: Provexis, CareTech, Nanoco ...

J.H. | ShareCast | 14 Feb, 2012 10:12 - Updated: 14:29 | | |

small caps
Companies covered in this round-up: Provexis, Caretech, Nanoco, Oxford Catalysts, CareCapital, Journey Group, Cardiff Property, Premier Management, Creightons, Cyan, Cupid

Sports nutrition specialist Provexis said an industrial scale production of Fruitflow powder, was successfully completed in 2012. Fruitflow is Provexis's tomato extract which inhibits platelet aggregating and therefore reduces the chance of heart disease.

Provexis has identified a potential application for Fruitflow in the sports nutrition market and has developed a product for its Science in Sport business. This product will launch in the UK in late summer, as part of a wider new product launch programme for the business.

Semi-conductor manufacturer Nanoco has signed a commercial joint development agreement with a major electronics company in Asia, involving the use of the company's cadmium-free quantum dots in the electronics company's display products. It is anticipated that further agreements with the electronics company will be signed on the successful completion of the initial development work. Shares gained 3.2% to 64.50p.

Social care services provider CareTech has begun discussions with its bankers on the refinancing of its present banking arrangements. The discussions, which are taking place well ahead of the existing facility's expiry in April 2013, are constructive and progressing well, the firm said. The company is trading in line with its expectations. Shares rose 4.51% to 139.00p.

Oxford Catalysts Group, a technology innovator for synthetic fuels production, has successfully progressed to the next phase of an engineering study for a 15,000 barrels per day of gas-to-liquids plant. The study, conducted on behalf of a major exploration & production company, is evaluating a facility in North America for converting shale gas into finished synthetic fuels. This next phase of the evaluation is due to begin shortly with a budget of several million dollars. Shares climbed 2.89% to 44.50p.

CareCapital, a real estate investment firm, has completed The Warrens Medical Centre in Thingwell, Wirral, valued at some £5m. It houses The West Wirral Group Practice, Wirral NHS Community Trust and a pharmacy. The centre was forward sold in November 2010 to MedicX Fund, the specialist primary care infrastructure investor. Shares rose 26.67% to 2.85p.

Journey Group, a provider of catering services and in-flight products, has reported a good final quarter after experiencing a higher level of demand from customers than expected. Results for the year ended December 31st are consequently expected to be ahead of market expectations. Revenue looks set to be £42.6m (2010 £34.7m) and adjusted profit before tax to be £0.36m (2010 -£1.19m). The firm also said cash generation was strong. Shares rose 26.92% to 4.12p.

Cardiff Property has admitted that the level of occupier demand for commercial property in the Thames Valley remains low. "The expected return of confidence has not materialised and the anticipation is that 2012 will prove to be another difficult year," the firm said. Residential property values in Surrey and Berkshire have remained unchanged although there continues to be a marked lack of activity. Letting enquiries have remained at a steady level and the marginal improvements in rental levels achieved last year have been maintained.

Premier Management, a Central Asia-focused natural resources investment company, has said trading in the company's shares can resume once the firm consults shareholders on its investing policy. The company must also complete the clearing process with the panel of Central Asia Resources, which it is currently trying to acquire. The firm says it hopes to complete this as soon as practicable. The shares have been suspended since November 16th.

Creightons has reported a gradual improvement in its financial position during the period from October 1st to February 13th, which it attributed to increased retained earnings as a result of profits achieved on sales in the third quarter. Sales in the third quarter were down on the same three months last year, but remained ahead of 2010/11 on a cumulative basis. Discretionary spend particularly on marketing and product research remains at a minimum, although the situation is continuously under review in order to best exploit market opportunities, the firm said.

Cyan, which produces products enable remote reading of gas and electricity meters, said the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, one of the largest electricity distributors in India, has unexpectedly extended the deadline for submission of samples for its automatic meter reading tender by 10 days to February 20th. The extension should benefit Cyan "as we understand it will allow a greater number of CyLec [i.e. Cyan technology] interoperable meters to be fully developed and submitted," said Bijan Mohandes, Vice-President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Cyan.

On St Valentine's Day it seems only appropriate that online dating firm Cupid should announce that it has won a long term contract to operate a Friends Reunited Dating site. Friends Reunited Dating operates as a separate business from Friends Reunited, the social networking site which once looked like it could be Britain's own version of the phenomenally successful Facebook. As part of the agreement, Friends Reunited will continue to cross market the Friends Reunited Dating brand. The agreement covers three brands: Friends Reunited Dating, Friends Over Fifty and Swoon.

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