AIM movers: Potential cash return by Orchard Funding and Active Energy to sell CoalSwitch

Insurance premium finance provider Orchard Funding Group (LON: ORCH) increased lending and revenues in the six months to January 2024. However, pre-tax profit fell 14% to £1.08m because of higher impairment provisions related to fraudulent credit agreements. The NAV is 83p/share. The board is reviewing whether the company should remain on AIM and a possible cash distribution to shareholders. The share price recovered 31.3% to 21p.

Pantheon Resources (LON: PANR) says consultancy Netherland Sewell & Associates has increased its best estimate resource for the 100% owned Kodiak field by one-quarter to 1,208 million barrels of recoverable liquids. The best estimate contingent gas potential is 5.4tcf of recoverable gas. The share price jumped 22.2% to 41.85p – the highest level since March 2023.

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The sharp increase in trading in the shares in Cornish minerals company Tungsten West (LON: TUN) is continuing this week. In the past few days there have been the largest numbers of shares traded on individual days since flotation in 2021. The share price rose a further 11.8% to 6.15p.

Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (LON: W7L) says trading continues to outperform expectations. First quarter sales are 28% higher at £23.5m. This has been achieved by adding stores and broadening the range and there has been no price rise since early 2022. Margins have also improved. Shore believes that its current pre-tax profit forecast of £19.1m for 2024 is likely to be 10% too low. The broker will not upgrade its forecast until the 2023 results are published on 24 April. The share price increased 11.7% to 419p.

Helium explorer Helix Exploration (LON: HEX) debuted on AIM this morning. It has leases in Montana, where there are known helium resources. Appraisal drilling is expected to commence in the second quarter of this year, assuming the permit is obtained, and management believes that there is a strong chance of commercially producing helium by the end of 2025. The fundraising was oversubscribed, so there is enough cash to get to production plus additional cash to invest in other potential helium reservoirs on the leases acquired. The placing price was 10p and the shares opened at 12p before falling to 10.125p.


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Active Energy Group (LON: AEG) has been reviewing its operations and how to secure funding. It believes it cannot raise the cash it requires to construct a CoalSwitch biomass fuel plant and commence production. A buyer is being sought for the CoalSwitch assets. If that happens, then the company would become a shell. The share price slumped 35% to 0.325p.

First quarter revenues at carbon brake technology developer Surface Transforms (LON: SCE) were £3m, which was lower than target. However, production yields improved in March when revenues were £1.5m. Revised delivery schedules have been agreed. Cavendish has raised its 2024 forecast loss to £3m because of higher scrappage costs and there are likely to be higher working capital requirements. There should still be net cash at the end of 2024. The share price continued its slide and is down 27% to 6.75p – the lowest level for around a decade.

CleanTech Lithium (LON: CTL) chief executive Aldo Boitano entered into a loan agreement with his shareholding in the company as security in August 2023. He has transferred his 9.4 million shares to a custodian account nominated by the lender. This was not revealed at the time. The chief executive has been suspended because of this and an investigation has started. It is unclear if any of the shares have been sold. The share price declined 18.6% to 12p.

Consumer healthcare products supplier Venture Life (LON: VLG) increased 2023 revenues by 17% to £51.4m and pre-tax profit improved from £5.6m to £7.3m. Earnings rose from 4.1p/share to 5.3p/share. Plans to increase marketing spending have led to a reduction in forecast 2024 earnings from 6.4p/share to 5.5p/share. The share price fell 6.37% to 36.75p.

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