AIM movers: Nexteq beats expectations, but James Cropper disappoints

Gaming machines and displays technology supplier Nexteq (LON: NXQ) says 2023 pre-tax profit was ahead of expectations thanks to a higher gross margin offsetting lower revenues. Pre-tax profit improved from $10.2m to $14m. The share price continues to recover from its recent low and is 10.9% higher at 122p.

Video games publisher Frontier Developments (LON: FDEV) reported an expected decline in interim revenues and move from a £6.7m pre-tax profit to a loss of £33.1m. Full year revenues guidance is unchanged at £80m-£95m. The share price clawed back some of its recent losses and is up 10.6% to 130.7p.

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Trading improved in the fourth quarter at marketing services group The Mission Group (LON: TMG) and 2023 revenues were slightly better than expected at £87m with pre-tax profit of £4.3m following the disposal of a loss-making business. Net debt is £1.55m and there is a payment plan with HMRC. There are £5m of annual cost savings that are being made. The share price is heading back to the level it was when the profit warning was released in October and is 8.51% ahead at 25.5p.

Cyber security services provider Corero Network Security (LON: CNS) grew annualised recurring revenues by 17% to $16.9m and 2023 revenues were a little better than expected at $22.3m. There was a small loss with a return to profit expected this year. Net cash is $5.2m. The share price rose 3.13% to 8.25p.


Paper and technical fibres maker James Cropper (LON: CRPR) has been hit by weak trading in the paper business and slower growth in sales to hydrogen companies in advanced materials. As a highly operationally geared business this has led to a slashing of current year pre-tax profit forecast from £5.9m to £500,000. Employee numbers have been reduced in the paper division, completing the restructuring. Higher capacity utilisation will improve the profit contribution. The share price slumped by one-third to 535p, which is the lowest level for more than eight years.

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Cancer diagnostic tests developer Oxford BioDynamics (LON: OBD) generated revenues and other operating income of £1.3m in 2022-23. Two tests have been launched in the US in the past year, but it will take time to build up revenues. There was a £11.4m loss and an operating cash outflow of £9.1m with £5.25m left in the bank at the end of September 2023. The share price dipped 23.7% because of cash concerns.

Ceramic products supplier Portmeirion (LON: PMP) achieved expectations in 2023, but the recovery is likely to be slower than anticipated. Rest of the world sales grew. Management is cautious about prospects in the US and South Korea. A 2023 pre-tax profit of £3.1m is estimated, while the 2024 figure has been cut by Singer from £7.1m to £4.5m. The share price dived 16.1% to 235p – the lowest level since March 2020. That still leaves the shares trading on less than ten times prospective 2024 earnings.

Hospitality tableware manufacturer Churchill China (LON: CHH) confirmed that 2023 profit is in line with expectations as margins continue to improve. Management warns that demand could be weak in the first half with cost increases offsetting further efficiency improvements. The share price fell 9.43% to 1200p.

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