Small caps round-up: blinkx, Image Scan, Lonrho ...

Also covered by this round-up: Yell Group and Smart Metering Systems

Video search engine company blinkx has announced a partnership with Digital Syphon, a provider of audio/video analytics technologies, to power meta-data creation for its Sonic Cloud offering, an online analytics platform. Under the agreement, the blinkx MetaExtractor will power meta-data creation for Sonic Cloud, leveraging a combination of speech and visual recognition technologies to automate the processing of rich media content, which blinkx described as 'a unique offering'.

Image Scan, an AIM-listed specialist supplier of real-time 3D and 2D x-ray screening systems to the homeland security and industrial inspection markets, has more than doubled its half year revenue to £1.76m (2011: £0.77m). The gross profit margin fell four percentage points to 37%, while pre tax profit came in at £0.005m, compared to a loss of £0.27m the previous half. Earnings per share were 0.01p, against a loss of 0.43p the same period in 2011. The company pointed out that breaking even for the first time is a significant milestone and said it will now focus on creating a platform for medium-term growth and sustainable value.

Lonrho has agreed to dispose of its aviation business, Lonrho Aviation, to Rubicon Diversified Investments, an AIM-listed investment company. The sale will be made for a total of $85.7m, consisting of 1.15bn Rubicon ordinary shares calculated at a notional value of 4.8p per share, adding to Lonrho's current holding of 9.5m ordinary shares in Rubicon, equal to 73.7% of Rubicon's enlarged issued share capital. As part of the transaction, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup Holdings will own 5.0% of the ordinary share capital of Rubicon.

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Digital services provide Yell Group has completed its recommended cash offer for Moonfruit, a high design DIY website and shop builder, for £18m, as part of its programme of creating a local eMarketplace. The firm was purchased using Yell's existing cash reserves. Retention bonuses of as much as £5.2m will be paid to key Moonfruit management after two years, provided that they remain exclusively employed by Yell. In a previous statement Yell said: "The deal is a significant move in Yell's ongoing transformation from its established position in providing print and online advertising for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become a leader in the emerging local eMarketplace."

Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has signed a major new contract with Total Gas & Power, a UK subsidiary of Total SA, for the provision of gas meters and SMS's automated meter reading solution, ADM, for its industrial and commercial customers. The meters range from small domestic sized meters to very large meters and therefore the value to SMS per meter differs markedly across the range. The contract with TGP is for around 15,000 meters over three years. Longer term average run rates are being established; however, initial run rates suggest that the equivalent number of domestic meters would be approximately 250,000 in value to SMS. The firm said it was "absolutely delighted" about the deal.