Learning Technologies Group

Edison TV | Technology | 11/04/2017

 

Jonathan Satchell, CEO of Learning Technologies Group (LTG.L), discusses the group's background and its ambitions. LTG recently announced FY16 results, which saw revenue up 42%, adjusted EBITDA up 77% and adjusted EPS up 57%, and Jonathan talks through the industry dynamics that are driving this growth. He discusses the rationale for buying NetDimensions and explains how it will fit within the broader group. He discusses the 100-day plan for achieving cost synergies from NetDimensions and the impact it is likely to have on the business in the longer term. Finally, he outlines the key milestones that investors should expect from LTG over the next 12 months.

LTG was historically a professional services group, building bespoke content for corporate training environments, either in conjunction with the customer's own learning management system (LMS) or an open source LMS such as Moodle. In recent years, it has developed and acquired its own suite of specialist learning technology software solutions, including gomo (an authoring tool) and Rustici (enables interoperability across different technology standards). Most recently, it has acquired NetDimensions, which gives the group its own proprietary LMS.

 

Nanoco Group

Edison TV | Technology | 05/04/2017

 

Dr Michael Edelman, CEO of Nanoco Group (NANO.L), discusses the progress the company is making towards securing its first commercial orders and in securing a strong position in the display supply chain with its key partners Merck, Dow and Wah Hong. He discusses progress for Nanoco's quantum dots in applications outside TV display, particularly the high-end PC monitor market, but also in lighting, healthcare and solar technologies. He also provides insight into the company's cash levels and funding position and discusses the key milestones that investors should look for in the remainder of the company's fiscal year and beyond.

Nanoco is the leading commercial supplier of cadmium-free quantum dots – fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles that absorb or re-emit different colours of light depending on the size of the particle. Quantum dots can be used in a number of different applications including TV displays, lighting, medical applications and solar power. Display is the most advanced of these applications, where quantum dots can provide better picture quality and better efficiency than competing LCD or OLED screens.

 

Regional REIT

Edison TV | Property | 04/04/2017

 

Regional REIT (RGL.L) owns a commercial property portfolio of predominantly offices and light industrial units located in the regional centres of the UK. The recently published FY16 results covered the first full year of trading since the IPO in November 2015 and showed good progress on portfolio and rent roll growth, rebalancing the portfolio (towards England and Wales and to the office and industrial sectors), debt reduction and the delivery of attractive returns. The c 8.1% prospective dividend yield is the highest in the sector, supported by rents from a portfolio of c £630m following the acquisition of a portfolio from Conygar after the year end.

Stephen Inglis is the group property director and chief investment officer of London & Scottish Investments, which is the asset manager to Regional REIT, as well as being a non-executive director of Regional itself. In this interview he discusses the results, strategy and the outlook for regional property.

 

EMIS Group

Edison TV | Software & Computer Services | 16/03/2017

 

EMIS Group (EMIS.L) is a clinical software supplier to the UK healthcare market. The company was originally established to serve the GP market, where it has a dominant position with a market share of 55% of UK GP practices. It has expanded from this position to create a broad range of products serving the community, child and mental healthcare (CCMH) market, the acute sector, and community pharmacies (where it has c 37% share) as well specialist software and screening services for diabetic retinopathy. The company' strategy is to provide connected healthcare solutions to facilitate patient-centric care.

In this video, CEO Chris Spencer reviews the company's 2016 results, with a discussion of the performance at a divisional level. He explains the pressures on the NHS to match funding to the ever increasing demand for services, and details how the company is reacting to this, including the reorganisation of the Primary, CCMH and Secondary Care businesses into one unit. He describes the company's plans to develop the Patient online healthcare information business. Finally, he discusses the current trading environment and gives his views on the company's short and long-term outlook.

 

7digital

Edison TV | Media | 13/03/2017

 

7digital provides white-label platform services and solutions that enable businesses to provide end-to-end digital music services to their customers. Its platform provides the infrastructure that supports high resolution audio download and streaming services, together with the rights to more than 50 million music tracks and curation expertise to enable businesses to offer comprehensive digital music services to their clients. As well as providing these B2B services, 7digital runs its own online music shop and provides music radio programming for broadcasters including the BBC. Its global customer base comprises leading consumer brands, mobile carriers, broadcasters, equipment manufacturers and retailers including Panasonic, Onkyo, Cdiscount, musical.ly and Electric Jukebox. The company was founded in 2004, listed on AIM in 2015 following the merger with radio group UBC and now employs c 125 FTEs through its offices in London, San Francisco, Manchester, Lille, Paris and Auckland.

In this interview CEO Simon Coles presents the 2016 results highlights, notably the move to EBITDA profitability in Q416 and strong growth in high margin licensing revenues in H216. It is this momentum, on a largely fixed cost base that underpins his confidence that 7digital will move to profitability across 2017as a whole. Cole outlines the rationale behind the proposed acquisition of its largest European competitor 24-7, which along-side scale and synergy brings a significant customer and strategic investor to 7digital via 24-7's parent company, MediaMarktSaturn. The digital music market has changed considerably over the last few years but remains ripe for disruption as a significant share of the market is still not served by the flat fee consumer subscription services. Cole explains why 7digital is well placed to share in the next phase of the industry's growth. With a leading position in a dynamic market and a management team experienced at integrating acquisitions he sees a significant opportunity for investors in 7digital.

 

Kainos Group

Edison TV | Technology | 10/02/2017

 

CEO Brendan Mooney outlines the main activities of the company's two divisions, Digital Services and Digital Platforms. He discusses growth prospects by division, including the growing number of opportunities in Germany, Benelux, Australia and the US. He explains the company's approach to product development and M&A. With the success of the business highly dependent on the ability to hire and retain well-qualified staff, he discusses the company's approach to hiring. Finally, he outlines the key milestones for investors to track over the next year.

 

WANdisco

Edison TV | Technology | 17/01/2017

 

CFO Erik Miller, who joined the company in the summer, gives an overview of his career before WANdisco (WAND.L) and explains why the company's replication technology and the IBM partnership were key attractions for joining the business. He discusses his key priorities for the near term and how the dynamics of WANdisco's economic model have evolved over 2016. He also describes the key financial metrics that investors should be looking for as the company executes on his plan.

 

WANdisco

Edison TV | Technology | 17/01/2017

 

CEO David Richards discusses recent developments in the big data marketplace and the relevance to WANdisco (WAND.L). He discusses the strong progress being made in the partnership with IBM, through which WANdisco signed a $1m deal with a major automotive manufacturer in Q4, and the strategic importance of the Amazon AWS partnership as more data migrates to the cloud. He describes the competitive environment for the WANdisco's technology and discusses emerging trends in terms of customer deployments of WANdisco's technology. He rounds up by summarising the key things that investors should expect from WANdisco in 2017.

 

Touchstone Innovations

Edison TV | Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare | 05/01/2017

 

Touchstone Innovations (IVO.L) (previously Imperial Innovations) is an investment company focused on building and creating companies formed from scientific research in the 'Golden Triangle' (the geographical region encompassing London, Cambridge and Oxford). Touchstone has 107 companies in its portfolio, with 45 accelerated growth companies where the company actively invests or takes a seat on the board. The top 10 valued companies comprise 60.4% (£202.5m) of the total portfolio value (£335.1m as of 31 July 2016). The majority of Touchstone's accelerated growth companies are in therapeutics (37%), while the continued push to broaden the portfolio focus particularly into technology is demonstrated by the second and third largest sectors comprising ICT and digital (24%) and engineering and materials (22%) companies. The remaining 15% of the accelerated growth portfolio is comprised of medtech and diagnostics companies.

In this webcast, CEO Russ Cummings discusses the significance of the recent rebranding and what it means for its broader investment strategy. He outlines the defining milestones in 2016 including the recently announced deal between PsiOxus and Bristol-Myers Squibb before finally giving an overview of what to expect from Touchstone Innovations in 2017.

 

paragon

Edison TV | General Industrials | 04/01/2017

 

paragon (PAG.L) designs and manufactures advanced automotive electronics solutions as a direct supplier to the automotive industry. Products include sensors, acoustics, cockpit, electromobility and body kinematics. Production facilities are in Germany, the US and China.

In this webcast, paragon's CEO, Klaus Dieter Frers, discusses the long-term drivers for the group derived from automotive megatrends, while explaining how paragon's approach differs from its competitors. He also provides further information on how the additional funds received from the recent successful capital increase will be used and how this investment has driven the improved outlook and confidence for further growth in FY17 and beyond.

 

ReNeuron

Edison TV | Healthcare | 20/12/2016

 

ReNeuron (RENE.L) is a UK clinical-stage biotech company developing allogeneic cell-based therapies. CTX neural stem cells are in development for ischaemic stroke disability (Phase II) and critical limb ischaemia (Phase I), and human retinal progenitor cells (hRPC) are being studied for retinitis pigmentosa (Phase I/II). ReNeuron is one of the pioneers in the field of stem cells, having developed proprietary technology platforms, notably based on the CTX neural stem cell line, derived and immortalised from a single donor cell. It is developing these multipotent adult stem cells specifically for allogeneic administration (as opposed to autologous procedures). The final product can be cryopreserved, stored and transported, with a simple procedure to prepare the cells for injection, so offering a genuine off-the-shelf, cell-based therapy. There is a clear clinical and commercial appeal, in that rather than addressing the symptoms of a disease, stem cell therapy seeks to address the cause of the condition, to effect repair or reversal of the disease through the regeneration of the affected tissue.

In this interview, CFO Michael Hunt explains the core technology of its business, the stem cell science it is developing, optimising and harnessing to create therapeutic products. He discusses the recently reported early Phase II clinical trial data for its CTX stem cell therapy in stroke and why this has given ReNeuron the confidence to commence a pivotal Phase II/III clinical trial in 2017. Finally, he also discusses expected newsflow resulting from the remainder of its pipeline – critical limb ischaemia (Phase I) and hRPC or retinitis pigmentosa (Phase I/II).

 

Gooch & Housego

Edison TV | Electronics & Electrical Equipment | 16/12/2016

 

Gooch & Housego (GHH.L) is a global leader in photonics technology. Its expertise extends from research through the development of prototypes to volume manufacturing and enables innovation and effective manufacturing in the aerospace & defence, industrial, life sciences and scientific research sectors.

In this webcast Gooch & Housego's CEO Mark Webster discusses how management has repositioned the industrials segment so that it is resilient to changes in demand from the manufacturing industry. He reviews the actions management has taken to move the group up the value-chain. He concludes by talking about investment in facilities and acquisitions going forward.

 

Seneca Global Income & Growth Trust

Edison TV | Financials | 01/12/2016

 

Seneca Global Income & Growth Trust (SIGT.L) was launched in 2005 and adopts a 'Multi-Asset Value Investing' approach, aiming to generate income and capital growth with low volatility by investing in a multi-asset portfolio of equities, fixed income and specialist assets. Since January 2012, SIGT's performance has been benchmarked against three-month Libor +3%. Annual dividends have increased each year since 2013. On 1 August 2016, SIGT adopted a discount control mechanism aiming to ensure that its share price trades very close to NAV.

In this webcast, chief investment officer Peter Elston and senior fund manager Alan Borrows discuss the new objectives for the trust that were adopted in 2012, an overview of how it is managed and their 'Multi-Asset Value Investing' approach. They highlight characteristics of some of the trust's holdings and where they are finding income. They then discuss the current asset allocation and which asset classes are looking the most/least attractive and highlight the recent adoption of a discount control mechanism.

 

The Brunner Investment Trust

Edison TV | Financials | 01/12/2016

 

The Brunner Investment Trust (BUT.L) was created in 1927, initially to manage the wealth of the Brunner family, one of the founding families of industrial giant ICI. It invests in UK and overseas equities and is managed by Lucy Macdonald at Allianz Global Investors. Its aim is to achieve long-term growth in capital and income. Dividends are paid quarterly and have risen year-on-year for 44 years. Over recent years the portfolio has become more concentrated, with c 70 stocks rather than 100+, and the focus on the UK has been reduced, a move reflected in the change in benchmark in 2008 from 60% UK/40% World ex-UK to a 50/50% split. The UK weighting has continued to fall and the board is exploring whether a new benchmark split would be more appropriate.

 

Ebiquity

Edison TV | Media | 30/11/2016

 

Ebiquity is a leading independent media and marketing analytics company. The group structures its business into three practices: Media Value Management (MVM), Market Intelligence (MI) and Market Performance Optimisation (MPO). It provides services to 80% of the world's 100 largest advertisers. Headquartered in London, it has a global footprint, with offices in 14 countries and approximately 50% of revenues generated outside the UK.

In this interview, CEO Michael Karg outlines the group's core activities and key trends in the global advertising market, including the better use of data in marketing and how digital uptake has led to a more complex environment for advertisers, together with the need for more accountability. He explains how Ebiquity is well positioned to help its clients in this evolving landscape. Michael also discusses the potential implications of the high-profile report from the American Association of National Advertisers (ANA) into media transparency, which has drawn global attention and summarises the recommendations that Ebiquity, in collaboration with the ANA, has published. In this environment he believes there is an opportunity to accelerate growth, and presents Ebiquity's recently announced plan to do this. Michael finishes by explaining how, against a backdrop of a structurally growing market, Ebiquity is working to create a higher-quality, more robust business which, with its unique skill sets and global footprint, he expects to deliver sustained double-digit growth.

 

Middlefield Canadian Income

Edison TV | Investment Companies | 30/11/2016

 

Middlefield Canadian Income (MCT) was launched in 2006 aiming to provide a high level of sustainable dividends and long-term capital growth via investment primarily in Canadian and selected US equities. It is benchmarked against the S&P/TSX Composite High Dividend index in sterling terms and is a member of the FTSE All-Share index.

In this webcast, managers Dean Orrico and Rob Lauzon explain the attractiveness of the Canadian economy and what the result of the recent US election will likely mean for the trust. They highlight how the portfolio is split between Canadian and US equities and which sectors are looking more attractive from a growth, valuation and income perspective. They then highlight what they consider to be the differentiating features of the trust and its dividend policy and record.

 

Abzena

Edison TV | Healthcare | 30/11/2016

 

Abzena (ABZA) is a UK life sciences group offering a range of services and technologies that enable its customers to develop safer and more effective biopharmaceutical products. Its core business is in its R&D service areas, which include immunology, protein engineering, ADC bioconjugation, synthetic chemistry and biomanufacturing.

In this video interview, CEO Dr John Burt discusses Abzena's integrated business model and how its services and approach distinguish it from other companies in the biopharmaceutical space. He also details how it is establishing itself in the US following its two acquisitions in 2015. He gives an update on the second part of its business model, Abzena inside products, and highlights the risk-free upside this could provide. John concludes by talking about Abzena's outlook for the next 24 to 36 months and the opportunities he sees for its future growth.

 

Entertainment One

Edison TV | Media | 22/11/2016

 

Entertainment One (eOne) is a leading international entertainment company that sources, selects and sells television, family, film and music content. In TV it is Canada's largest independent television producer and distributor, it has sizeable operations in the US and international distribution from the UK. Its Family content includes the UK's number one pre-school property, Peppa Pig. It also owns North America's largest independent music label, eOne Music. It is one of the world's largest multi-territory distributors of films with market-leading positions in the UK, Canada, Benelux, the US, Australia and Spain. Its content library, recently valued at $1.5bn, contains over 40,000 film and TV titles, 4,500 half-hours of TV programming and 45,000 music tracks.

In this video, eOne's CFO Giles Willits summarises the group's strategy to double the size of the business by 2020. He also outlines how the growth of global SVOD platforms is stimulating the demand for premium content of many genres and how eOne is positioned to take advantage of these trends. Giles updates on the first-half performance, which saw strong growth across all three core divisions and explains why he believes the outlook for the second half is also particularly strong. This is underpinned by a strong box office flowing through to the home entertainment market, the continued success of Family brands such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, which are growing strongly internationally. In addition, eOne Television and The Mark Gordon Company, which is seeing a very strong start for its new production, Designated Survivor, have excellent visibility in to the second half. Giles believes this strong outlook puts the group on track to deliver on its full year and medium-term plan.

 

Kiadis Pharma

Edison TV | Healthcare | 09/11/2016

 

Kiadis Pharma is developing T cell-based therapies to address the issues associated with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The company is leveraging its Theralux technology to develop ATIR101 and ATIR201 as adjunct therapies to HSCT in leukaemia and thalassemia, respectively. Kiadis's Theralux platform allows the infusion of lymphocytes from a partially matching (haploidentical) family member to the donor as it eliminates cells that could react against the host's immune cells and cause complications such as graft vs host disease. On the back of Phase II data, Kiadis is aiming for accelerated filing of ATIR101 with the European Medicines Agency in Q117; a Phase III trial will start in H216. ATIR201 will start a Phase I/II trial in H216. Cash at end June 2016 was €23.7m, sufficient to fund operations until early 2018.

In this interview, CEO Dr Manfred Rüdiger explains the core technology of Kiadis's business and the immunotherapies it is developing, optimising and harnessing to create therapeutic products. He discusses problems associated with stem cell transplantation in blood disorders and how Kiadis Pharma is working to address them as well as the patient population and market opportunity for its products. He also provides an overview of the competitive advantages of Kiadis Pharma products with respect to the current standard of care and other competitors. Finally, he outlines the regulatory strategy and provides timelines for the next value inflection points.

 

NetScientific

Edison TV | Healthcare | 08/11/2016

 

NetScientific (NSCI) is a healthcare investment company with a portfolio of digital health, diagnostic and therapeutic investees. In 2015 the company realigned its investment strategy, bringing a new highly experienced CEO on board and rationalising the portfolio and new funding (£18.2m gross from the issue of 15.2m new shares at 120p) to accelerate development in some of its key holdings. A series of value inflection points are expected in what remains of 2016 and 2017 including Series A financing for four holdings, the commercial ramp up of the Wanda digital health platform and the launch of the Vortex liquid biopsy product.

 

Seeing Machines

Edison TV | Technology | 01/11/2016

 

Seeing Machines (SEE) specialises in operator performance and safety through real-time monitoring and intervention. The group's IP is based around three sets of algorithms: head tracking (eg monitors for distraction, or if the subject is not facing in the correct direction), eye aperture (eg microsleeps/fatigue monitoring) and eye gaze (eg for device control).

In this video, Ken Kroeger, Kroeger (CEO) discusses the company and its history. He talks about how the Guardian retrofit business, aimed at the commercial fleet market, is evolving. He gives an update on the automotive business, aimed at the OEM market, which the group is seeking to demerge. He also talks about the decision to develop the company's own proprietary chip. He discusses developments in the relationship with Caterpillar and developments in the Aerospace and Trains verticals and he discusses the group's R&D programmes, which are partly funded by third parties.

 

Regional REIT

Edison TV | Financials | 25/10/2016

 

Regional REIT (RGL) has an active asset management strategy, built on detailed plans for each property and targeting a 10-15% pa return to shareholders, including a 7-8% pa dividend return on the IPO price of 100p. The existing portfolio assets are relatively high yielding (H116 net initial yield 7.1%), capable of supporting a fully covered 2016e dividend yield of 7.3%, and well-diversified by property, region and tenant. The asset manager, LSI, brings a well-resourced and dedicated team, with cross-cycle experience, essential to exploit the opportunity provided by significant lease breaks and expiries over the next three years to grow income and valuation.

In this interview Stephen Inglis, the chief investment officer of RGL's asset manager, LSI, discusses the company's history and its portfolio, including the opportunity for regional commercial property and how the detailed approach to asset management adds value for shareholders in RGL. He also sets out his view on the impact of the EU referendum so far and explains how the asset manager plans to grow the portfolio.

 

NetDimensions

Edison TV | Technology | 19/10/2016

 

NetDimensions (NETD) is a software company that provides talent and learning management systems to global enterprises. The company's solutions allow organisations to deliver personalised learning, share knowledge, enhance performance, foster collaboration and manage compliance for employees, customers, partners and suppliers.

In this webcast, Jay Shaw (CEO), gives an outline of the business. He talks about the recent contract win with Moody's Analytics. He discusses the H1 results, and explains how the group has been able to dramatically reduce the EBITDA loss despite flat revenues and to return a positive operating cash flow. He talks about the group's focus on high-consequence industries and how it plans to spend the group's significant cash pile.

 

Secure Income REIT

Edison TV | Financials | 19/10/2016

 

Nick Leslau is the Chairman of Secure Income REIT's (SIR) investment advisor, Prestbury Investments, and has long experience in the UK commercial property sector. Here he discusses Secure Income's unique portfolio and the highly predictable long-term returns it will generate. He also explains how the long leases are beneficial to tenants as well as Secure Income and covers the recent acquisition of 55 Travelodge hotels.

Secure Income REIT (Secure) targets predictable cash flows from a broad range of real estate assets, which offer very long leases (average unexpired lease term more than 23 years) subject to annual fixed or RPI linked rent uplifts, to high-quality tenants providing strong covenants. The external manager has a strong track record, with interests strongly aligned to other shareholders. The prospects for medium-term dividend growth are very strong, while NAV should also grow at unchanged yields.

 

Mercia Technologies

Edison TV | Technology | 19/10/2016

 

Mark Payton, Mercia Technologies' (MERC) CEO, introduces the company and talks through the progress it has made since IPO. He explains the company's overarching philosophy for investing and explains how Mercia is different from its closest peers, Imperial Innovations and IP Group. He outlines the different structures the company has for investing companies from seed through early-stage development, growth and then exit, and looks at what makes the company an attractive partner for its investee companies. Finally, he talks through the key milestones that investors should look for over 2016 and 2017.

Mercia Technologies is one of the leading investment businesses in UK technology, specialising in the commercialisation of pioneering businesses across exciting growth sectors in which deep expertise is held. The company has a Complete Capital Solution to support companies from seed to exit. Investors are given exposure to a broad range of early-stage businesses through the company's Mercia Fund Management and Enterprise Ventures fund management businesses. Emerging stars are then funded and supported directly through Mercia Technologies.

 

Nanoco Group

Edison TV | Technology | 17/10/2016

 

Nanoco (NANO) is the leading commercial supplier of cadmium-free quantum dots – fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles that absorb or re-emit different colours of light depending on the size of the particle. Quantum dots can be used in a number of different applications including TV displays, lighting, medical applications and solar power. Display is the most advanced of these applications, where quantum dots can provide better picture quality and better efficiency than competing LCD or OLED screens.

CEO, Michael Edelman discusses the company’s partnerships with Merck and Wah Hong, signed following the move to a non-exclusive exclusive agreement with Dow earlier in the year, and talks about how the expansion of partners improves the company’s coverage of the display industry. He also describes how a near 10-fold improvement in manufacturing yield now makes the company’s Runcorn plant viable for volume manufacture whereas previously it only produced development volumes. He gives an update of progress in lighting and life sciences and rounds up by describing the key milestones that investors should look for over the next year.

 

IQE

Edison TV | Technology | 29/09/2016

 

IQE (IQE) is the leading supplier of epitaxial compound semiconductor wafers globally. The principal applications include radio frequency semiconductors, devices for optical networks, vertical cavity lasers, infrared semiconductors, power electronics and CPV solar cells.

In this webcast, Dr Drew Nelson, President and CEO, discusses the key applications driving the strong growth in the company's Photonics business and whether this growth is sustainable. He also explains the current dynamics in the wireless business and the potential for the company's CREO technology to reinvigorate wireless growth through extending its presence into filters. He talks through progress in some of IQE's less-developed markets such as power electronics and CPV solar, before finally discussing the expected cash flow dynamics for the business.

 

audioBoom

Edison TV | Technology | 21/09/2016

 

audioboom (BOOM) is the world's leading spoken-word audio platform for hosting, distributing and monetising content. The platform enables its 4,000+ active content partners, including well-known brands such as the BBC, NBC Sports Radio and Global and Bauer, to create, embed and re-syndicate content across a wide network of channels including all the major online channels such as Google Play, Deezer and Apple Music.

In this interview, audioBoom's CEO Rob Procter outlines the platform and its services and discusses the $19bn+ market opportunity. He updates on the recent strong performance of the group, which has reported that the number of podcast 'listens' has increased by 80% over the last year with revenues increasing six fold. Rob also presents his expectations in terms of 'monetisable listens', a KPI that is on track to more than double this year and, he believes, will triple again next year leading to more exponential growth in FY17. He outlines the strategy driving this growth, which includes an increasing focus on the US market, which currently accounts for 70% of listens, as well as a significant upgrade to the platform. The planned acquisition of SONAR, a market-leading NPL and AI ad server, is integral to this and, as well as improving the advertising's targeting capabilities, should also ensure considerable cost savings as the group continues to scale up.

 

ReNeuron

Edison TV | Pharma & Healthcare | 19/07/2016

 

ReNeuron (RENE) is a UK clinical-stage biotech company developing allogeneic cell-based therapies. CTX neural stem cells are in development for ischaemic stroke disability (Phase II) and critical limb ischaemia (Phase I) and human retinal progenitor cells (hRPC) are being studied for retinitis pigmentosa (Phase I/II). ReNeuron is one of the pioneers in the field of stem cells, having developed proprietary technology platforms, notably based on the CTX neural stem cell line, derived and immortalised from a single donor cell. It is developing these multipotent adult stem cells specifically for allogeneic administration (as opposed to autologous procedures). The final product can be cryopreserved, stored and transported, with a simple procedure to prepare the cells for injection, so offering a genuine off-the-shelf cell-based therapy. There is a clear clinical and commercial appeal in that rather than addressing the symptoms of a disease, stem cell therapy seeks to address the cause of the condition, to effect repair or reversal of the disease through the regeneration of the affected tissue. ReNeuron is funded (£65.7m in cash at 31 March 2016) to pursue pivotal studies with two cell therapy-based programmes. The company recently relocated to a new research and cell manufacturing facility in South Wales (funded by a £7.8m Welsh government grant).

In this interview, CFO Michael Hunt explains the core technology of its business, the stem cell science it is developing, optimising and harnessing to create therapeutic products. He discusses the expected newsflow resulting from its three clinical studies - CTX neural stem cells in development for ischaemic stroke disability (Phase II) and critical limb ischaemia (Phase I) and hRPC (human retinal progenitor cells) for retinitis pigmentosa (Phase I/II). He also explains how last year's equity fund-raising proceeds are being deployed and where the business is expected to reach clinically as a result of this. Finally, he also outlines an exciting new additional focus of the company - its emerging exosome nanomedicine programme. This programme uses in-house science assets, but is building out a new modality in a new therapeutic area (oncology).

 

Avanti Communications

Edison TV | Fixed Satellite Services | 31/05/2016

 

Avanti Communications (AVN) is a London-based fixed satellite services (FSS) provider. It sells satellite data communications capacity to service providers to key markets in Enterprise, Broadband, Carrier Services and Government. It has Ka-band capacity on three satellites, with two further launches due in 2017.

In this webcast, Chief Executive and co-founder David Williams reflects on the achievements of the group to date, including the development and commissioning of the first Ka-band satellite network in EMEA. He talks about the progressive development of the number of customers and their increasing quality, as well as the unique capabilities Avanti has developed during its initial phase and is able to offer. He also looks forward to an exciting 2017, with two satellites (HYLAS 3 and HYLAS 4) due to be launched, which should significantly enhance the prospects of the company.

 

Softcat

Edison TV | Technology | 24/05/2016

 

Softcat (SCT) is a UK-based provider of IT infrastructure to the corporate and public sectors, including the products and services needed to design, implement, support and manage these solutions, on premise, in the cloud or both. Softcat has evolved from a software licensing reseller to now offering a broad range of products and services for its customers' workplace technology, datacentre infrastructure and networking and security requirements. The company listed on the LSE main market in November 2015, raising approximately £153.4m at 240p. In April 2016 it was named the Best Large Workplace in the UK by Great Place to Work.

In this video, CEO Martin Hellawell explains Softcat’s three different lines of business lines: workplace computing , security & networking and datacentre infrastructure. He explains how the company’s recruitment and training policy has been key to its strong growth by enabling the company to differentiate itself through providing superior aftercare services. Mr Hellawell also discusses Softcat’s growth strategy via winning more business from existing customers and the headroom the company has to continue expanding its customer base. He explains why the Softcat’s focus on higher value-added solutions enables it to command higher margins than its peers and how the company intends to redistribute and deploy the cash it generates.

 

The Brunner Investment Trust

Edison TV | Investment Trusts | 12/05/2016

 

The Brunner Investment Trust (BUT) was created in 1927, initially to manage the wealth of the Brunner family, one of the founding families of industrial giant ICI. It invests in UK and overseas equities and is managed by Lucy Macdonald and Jeremy Thomas at Allianz Global Investors. Its aim is to achieve long-term growth in capital and income. Dividends are paid quarterly and have risen year-on-year for 43 years. Over recent years the portfolio has become more concentrated, with c 80-85 stocks rather than 100+, and the focus on the UK has been reduced, a move reflected in the change in benchmark in 2008 from 60% UK/40% World ex UK to a 50/50 split. The UK weighting – currently around one-third of the portfolio – could fall further over time as the managers seek to diversify.

In this video, portfolio manager Jeremy Thomas explains why he feels there are still bumps in the road for emerging markets even though some of the macroeconomic factors affecting them have begun to alleviate. He considers the impact of political risk in world markets, particularly the effect of the forthcoming US election on the healthcare sector, which has been a source of strong performance for BUT in recent years. He then outlines how a long-standing trend towards a lower UK weighting is being driven by better dividend growth opportunities overseas, rather than short-lived fears around the EU referendum.

 

The Merchants Trust

Edison TV | Investment Trusts | 10/05/2016

 

Launched in 1889, The Merchants Trust (MRCH) has evolved throughout its history into an investment trust seeking a high and growing income from a portfolio of UK equities. It is managed by Simon Gergel, chief investment officer of UK equities at AllianzGI, and is both the largest and the oldest of the trusts managed by AllianzGI. MRCH is differentiated from peers in the UK Equity Income sector by using the FTSE 100 index as a performance benchmark; the trust currently has a slant towards some of the largest stocks in the index, although it also has c 35% of assets invested in companies outside the 100 largest. MRCH is one of the highest-yielding equity investment trusts and has a 34-year record of annual dividend growth.

In this video, portfolio manager Simon Gergel explains how he has taken advantage of opportunities arising from the recent market volatility, adding to favoured stocks on weakness and taking profits in more defensive areas. He reflects on how a mixture of long-term core holdings and shorter-term value opportunities has helped the trust achieve its 34-year record of rising dividends, and looks ahead to the EU referendum and how focusing on companies with good competitive positions globally is key to overcoming uncertainty.

 

Ilika

Edison TV | Alternative Energy| 04/05/2016

 

Ilika (IKA) accelerates the development of new materials for energy, electronics and aerospace applications through its patented, high-throughput techniques that enable functional materials to be made, characterised and tested up to 100 times faster than traditional techniques. In partnership with international, blue-chip companies it has developed a patented methodology for producing solid-state batteries that are lighter, safer, faster to charge and last longer between charges than existing lithium-ion batteries.

In the webcast, CEO Graeme Purdy discusses the micro battery technology that Ilika has just launched, explaining why this technology is particularly suitable for use in internet of things applications and how this will transform sensor design and deployment. He explores the potential for Ilika in this emerging market and how licencing technology IP to partners is the preferred route for optimising return on the IP. Graeme concludes with a discussion of a new project in a different field that is being undertaken with Seagate, the hard disk-drive company, and the University of Southampton.

 

Hogg Robinson

Edison TV | Consumer | 22/04/2016

 

Hogg Robinson (HRG) is an international corporate services company, specialising in travel, expenses and data management. It has two divisions: HRG, a global leader in corporate travel management, and Fraedom, a software-as-a-service business that is a leading innovator of payment, expense and travel technology solutions.

In this interview Bill Brindle, Hogg Robinson Group's CIO, and Kyle Ferguson, Fraedom’s CEO, discuss how and why Hogg Robinson Group created Fraedom, and how they are looking to take advantage of the exciting opportunities in travel, expenses and, most of all, payments management.