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Dip in overall valuation of Scottish AIM-listed companies

THE combined market capitalisation of Scottish companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market fell by about 1% last year, in contrast to a 20% jump in the FTSE AIM All-Share Index, figures compiled by accountancy firm BDO have revealed.

The total market worth of 24 Scottish AIM stocks monitored by BDO dipped in spite of strong gains for companies including cloud computing specialist Iomart, Smart Metering Systems and software group Craneware.

Among the Scottish AIM companies to suffer sharp drops in their market worth were online dating group Cupid and Scottish oil and gas independent Bowleven.

BDO calculated that the stock market worth of the 24 Scottish AIM companies in its survey stood at £1.715 billion at the end of 2013, down by 1.1% from £1.734bn at the close of 2012.

It noted that Iomart had enjoyed a near-£70m rise in market capitalisation in 2013. Smart Metering's stock market worth rose by nearly £55m, BDO added, with Craneware's value increasing by more than £31m.

BDO calculated that Cupid had suffered a drop in its market value of nearly £96m last year, and said that Bowleven's capitalisation had fallen by about £89m.

Neil McGill, corporate finance director at BDO, said: "Scotland has a relatively shallow pool of AIM-listed companies, which always makes it difficult to identify trends from the overall change in the index, but it is interesting to note the sectoral differences.

"Technology companies fared pretty well during the year, with the ambitious and dynamic Iomart improving their value through some strategic and timely acquisitions. Equally, Smart Metering and Craneware had an excellent year, growing their market cap substantially as a result."

He added: "For junior oil and gas companies, there is always the possibility of volatility in share-price performance. Cupid was a significant faller...However, steps have been taken to focus on the core business after the sale of the casual dating business."

Mr McGill noted Iomart and Smart Metering were each valued at more than £250m. He declared that this was an indication of both the quality of companies on AIM and the usefulness of a listing on this junior market for some businesses.

Rangers International Football Club, which made its debut on AIM in December 2012, has not yet been included in the BDO survey.

BDO said it had not included Pinnacle Technology, which reorganised its share capital during the year, or Superglass, which joined AIM from the main London stock market, stating that direct comparisons were not possible.

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