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 Printing.com 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 Printing.com, 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.

yourmoney@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Compliance Officer - Trading Firm - London

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + excellent package & bonus expectations: Real Staff...

    Senior Compliance Executive - Top Bank - London

    £80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: A highly successful Co...

    AVP Regulatory Affairs, Global Bank, London

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + highly competitive package: Real Staffing: An oppo...

    VP Operational Compliance - Global Bank

    Highly competitive: Real Staffing: VP - Operational Compliance - Global BankA ...

    Day In a Page

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
    Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

    Hollywood targets Asian audiences

    The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

    Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
    Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

    Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

    Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
    10 best girls' summer dresses

    Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

    Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
    Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

    Westminster’s dark secret

    Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
    Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

    Naked censorship?

    The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
    Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

    Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

    As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
    Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

    David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

    Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil