Share Talk Weekly Small Cap Movers & Shakers – 31st October 2021

A busy week for the small-cap market, in the spotlight were Bens Creek Group PLC (AIM :BEN), who floated on the 19th of October. Already, the share price has more than doubled due to positive news flow.

The owner of a North American metallurgical coal mining operation announced on 21 October that he had signed an off-take agreement for Integrity Coal Sales New York.

The shares rose another 55% after Mega Highwall signed a contract mining service agreement with the company. Mega Highwall will be responsible for producing the company’s metallurgical co reserves for 12 months.

According to the contract agreement, 18,000 tonnes more coal will be produced per month than the off-take agreement with Integrity Coal Sales. This will make it possible for Integrity Coal Sales to offer additional off-take agreements.

E-Therapeutics PLC, (ETX), enjoyed a tailwind following the announcement of a new business initiative. This was due to successful lab testing of the new lead technology.

Ali Mortazavi, the chief executive, stated that “these excellent results demonstrate that our proprietary delivery system, as well as siRNA chemistries, can be competitive relative to peer platform.”

He said, “This is a significant step in the company’s ultimate goal to develop an in-house RNAi pipeline with future scope for early-stage partnering.”

e-Therapeutics PLC stated that it will offer potential partners “early-stage business opportunities in the coming months” after successful lab testing of its lead technology.

The company uses small interfering RNA, also known as silencing RNA, and couples it or ‘conjugates” it with drug technology to ensure it reaches the right cells in the liver.

This week, shares rose 20% to 41.25p. It was helped by some topping by Mortazavi. ETX CEO purchased 275,000 shares for 36.5p each

XLMedia PLC, (AIM:XLM) also saw a director spend £26,000 on 63.064 shares. Julie Markey, a non-executive director, spent about 41.22p per share. Markey, who had no shares in XLMedia before, now owns 0.024%.

XLMedia shares trade at 46.5p right now, an increase of 24% over the previous week.

It’s difficult to determine whether Nightcap PLC (LON: NGHT) the company behind London Cocktail Club, chose a very favourable time to grow. The company announced this week that it will open three new London Cocktail Club locations in November. One of the sites is actually located in London! The other two are located in Reading and Bristol.

These three openings will increase the number of sites available to the group from 19-22 sites to 22, with 11 additional sites in legal negotiations and 10 more sites being offered across multiple brands.

This week, the shares rose 15% to 19p.

The office space sector is another one in turmoil. SmartSpace Software PCL (LON: SMRT) is a room-booking and hot desk booking software company. However, it has bounced back this week with some decent interims given the circumstances.

The company stated that recurring revenues increased 52% to £1.59mln in the second half of last year.

SmartSpace shares rose by 12%

After a gloomy trading update, IG Design Group PLC (LON: IGR) has a market capitalization of less than £250mln, making it questionable if it is a small-cap. However, it will soon be if it has many weeks like it does now.

The maker of stationery and creative products complained about the disruptions in its global supply chain. However, the company has been experiencing worsening cost headwinds. Sea freight costs have risen significantly in all regions. There has also been an increase in raw material and labour inflation.

The group expects that full-year operating margins of 1.75 to 2.25 percentage point lower year-over-year, which will result in earnings significantly below current market expectations.

This was a very grim update on trading, no matter how you gift-wrap it.

Distil PLC (AIM:DIS)  is probably most well-known for its RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Gin and Vodka brands. This week, they announced that it had invested £3mln in the Ardgowan Distillery company.

“Ahead of COP26 at Glasgow, Ardgowan announced a partnership to Briggs, a worldwide recognized engineering company with extensive experience within the distilling industry. This partnership will help Ardgowan realize its ambitious plans for a multi-million-pound eco-friendly distillery near Inverkip west of Glasgow. After an initial period for equipment testing and commissioning, the partnership goal will be to produce a carbon-negative distillery by 2024,” the announcement stated.

While Distil received high marks for tying the announcement to the COP26 meeting, the results – Distil’s shares fell 14% at 1.5p – were not what Distil had hoped for.


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