UK Politics

Small Cap Movers: ITM Powers management take a few chips off the table as AIM heads towards its 25th birthday


Having built a company worth almost £1.5bn, the management team of ITM Power (LON:ITM) could be forgiven for taking a few chips off the table, particularly with the shares close to an all-time high.

Boss Graham Cooley, chief financial officer Andy Allen, chief technology officer Simon Bourne and executive director Rachel Smith all exercised share options this week before selling stock worth £13.5mln.

ITMs release on Wednesday said: “The transactions have been undertaken for the purposes of wealth diversification.” For those 28 people recently returned or being brought back from furlough, the news might jar a tad.

That said, ITM – up 11.5% at 308p on Friday – has been one of AIMs stand-out success stories despite being loss-making. Its hydrogen technology is in huge demand with the order backlog standing at over £52mln.

The shares, which hit a record high last week, had a mini wobble in the wake of the companys trading update on Monday. ITM said it would post a £17.5mln loss this financial year, in line with expectations.

The clean-tech specialist merits an honourable mention in the Proactive roll call ahead of AIMs 25th anniversary next week.

The combined market capitalisation of the original 10 companies was £82mln whereas now, the average market capitalisation of the 852 companies listed on AIM is just over £120mln.

Indeed, 20 of AIMs companies are billion pound-plus companies, with fashion firm Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) at the top of the greasy pole with a market capitalisation of £4.8bn, having recently toppled another online schmutter flogger, ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), which is worth a "mere" £3.3bn.

Boohoo would sashay into the FTSE 100 were it eligible, with a market capitalisation that is around £400mln higher than Sainsburys, while ASOS would have a fighting chance of sneaking in, as its market capitalisation is higher than six current index constituents, namely Whitbread, ITV, easyJet, Meggitt, Centrica and Carnival.

One former AIM luminary, Melrose Industries PLC (LON:MRO) has already made it into the FTSE 100, although of course, it had to leave AIM to do so.

Melrose listed on AIM in 2003 with a market capitalisation of £13mln; it is now worth £6.9bn and owns aerospace and automotive engineer, GKN – a company so venerable it was an original member of the FT 30-share index (the forerunner to the FTSE 100).

The junior market ended a tumultuous week down 4.3%, mirroring the blood-letting losses seen on the FTSE 100.

As AIM heads towards its 25th birthday, Hornby PLC (LON:HRN) is also nearing an impressive landmark – it is almost a 100 years since Frank Hornby unveiled the first clockwork tinplate locomotive. The share price rose to the occasion, chugging 11% higher to 37.45p.

In the natural resources sector, oilfield services firm Star Phoenix Group Ltd (LON:STA) sank 24% to 2p after admitting it has still not received the outstanding payment of US$1.53mln from LandOcean Energy Services related to the sale of Range Resources Trinidad Limited, after extending the deadline several times.

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