Derek Pain: NCI Vehicle Rescue beats rocky times to drive onwards and upwards

No Pain, No Gain

In the past month three companies have declared their intention of switching from the fringe Plus Quoted share-trading facility to the London Stock Exchange's junior Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Such elevations, like companies moving from AIM to full listing, are a continuing process. Although some are happy with their Plus or AIM status, others feel the need to move on.

I am wondering whether one of the No Pain, No Gain portfolio's two Plus constituents could feel the urge to go up-market. Last week NCI Vehicle Rescue drove into the City with some impressive figures and chairman Richard Jackson described prospects as "excellent".

The shares were recruited in January at 25.5p; they are now around 35p. Mr Jackson, who arrived in March, is prepared to back his conviction with hard cash. Since announcing the figures, he has picked up more than 100,000 shares, paying up to 37p. His stake is now 1.4 per cent.

At the pre-tax level NCI recorded profits of £413,500, up 150 per cent but lower than at one time expected. A celebratory maiden dividend of 0.5p a share was declared. The group was launched at the turn of the century, joined Plus at 15p a share (raising £400,000) in 2004, has made progress ever since and would be a splendid addition to AIM's ranks.

Its performance, achieved often under daunting and fiercely competitive conditions, has been quite remarkable. The group has a close affinity with bikers, offering a specialised motorcycle breakdown service. NCI also handles car and van breakdowns and offers vehicle and other types of insurance. Neil Richards-Smith, a significant shareholder, is the driving force.

English Wines Group is the portfolio's other Plus constituent. I am disappointed with its performance and its membership could be terminated. The shares were purchased at 20p, went to 26p and now reside at a sobering 14p.

The portfolio still embraces which I recruited before it moved from Plus to AIM. It is now the longest-serving portfolio share, enlisted in February 2004. The shares carry the scars that have afflicted many small-caps as sentiment turned against them. The highest price was 75p; now it is around 38p. But, which runs a retail network feeding printing orders to its Manchester plant, has a rather special claim to fame. During its five years on AIM it has paid more than £6m in dividends. Not bad for a company capitalised at only £16.9m. Its shares offer a remarkable 8 per cent yield. A more reasonable 6 per cent would lift the price to 52p. In its latest update the group said trading had been slightly softer but outlined measures to improve its performance. It looks as though profits this year will be around the £1.7m achieved last year and the dividend should be held at 3.15p a share.

One other constituent made the same journey to AIM. Myhome International, a franchise group, was a disaster, going belly-up some 18 months after switching markets. The group raised some heady cash amounts in the City which, like me, failed to see the crash coming until it was too late.

The trio of Plus departures are in various stages of their AIM journeys. One, Award International, a cash shell acquiring a digital marketing group, was due to arrive this week. Others are SureTrack Monitoring, a security tracking group, and Scancell, developing cancer vaccines. Scancell expects to switch next week and SureTrack a week later.

As I mentioned last month, Plus Markets Group, running the Plus-Quoted fringe market which could be regarded as a few rungs below AIM, is having a difficult time, although there are hopes that remedial action currently under way will eradicate losses. The Plus-Quoted market (the old Ofex), is just one of a number of trading platforms under the Plus banner. The group's shares, around 2p, display the City's disenchantment with PMG's overall performance.

Finally, two AIM stocks that I regard as the portfolio's "walking wounded". Lighthouse, an accountancy group, has signed a deal to provide financial advice to the 1.3 million members of Unison, the country's biggest public sector trade union. And hire purchase group, Private & Commercial Finance, normally a comatose share, has experienced some active trading lately. There is talk of a bid at around 20p but some maintain the activity merely represented repositioning.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

footballHe started just four months ago
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Nigel Farage: 'I don't know anybody in politics as poor as we are'
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

    Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

    Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect