Scottish Aim firms ahead of rest of market after Q1 gains

Scots firms on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) saw a double digit rise in their combined market value. Picture: PA

Scots firms on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) saw a double digit rise in their combined market value. Picture: PA

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Scottish companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) saw a double-digit rise in their combined market value in the first quarter of the year, according to analysis published yesterday.

The 24 companies on the junior market saw their market capitalisation increase by 10.14 per cent to £1.66 billion, figures from accountancy firm BDO showed.

The Scottish contingent significantly outperformed the wider market during the period when the FTSE Aim UK 50 dropped 4.5 per cent and the FTSE Aim All Share fell 3.79 per cent.

The Scottish figures were driven by the sharp increase in market capitalisation of three companies during the first quarter, which more than offset a fall in value seen in 14 of the nation’s Aim-listed businesses.

The largest increase was achieved by Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems (SMS) which saw its market value rise by £65.4m to £349.3m in the first quarter on the back of a near 60 per cent rise in pre-tax profits and a 27 per cent jump in revenue. The company also recently splashed out almost £7m on three acquisitions.

Edinburgh-based Castle Street Investments – formerly dating website developer Cupid and soon to be renamed Coretx Holdings – saw its value increase by £51.4m to £74.9m following a placing and the completion of two acquisitions, whilst Aberdeen oil and gas firm Faroe Petroleum’s rose by £32.7m to £177.6m due to a reduction in pre-tax losses and the potential development value of some of its licenses.

The biggest faller was Goals Soccer Centres which saw a 42.8 per cent fall in market value after reporting its first pre-tax loss in 12 years. Scotland lost one Aim company during the quarter following the merger of East Kilbride-based Interbulk with Dutch company Den Hartogh Holdings.

Craig Martin, corporate finance director with BDO, commented: “Given the volatility of all listed markets at the start of this year it is an extraordinarily good performance that Scotland’s Aim listed companies should have come out of this period showing growth of over 10 per cent in their market caps.

“Whilst performance within the Scottish Aim companies has been mixed, the overall trend has been bolstered by positive results from three of our larger businesses and this has resulted in Scotland bucking the wider downward trend in market cap across other Aim listed companies.”

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