De La Rue PLC (LON:DLAR) improved 6.5% to 163p after it said adjusted operating profit for its current fiscal year should top market expectations.
The board’s expectations for adjusted operating profit for the year to the end of March are in the range of £36mln to £37mln, compared with current market expectations of around £34mln.
The improved expectations have largely been driven by a strong performance by its currency division. Its Authentication division, meanwhile, is experiencing some delays in securing new business from governments due to disruption in procurement processes.
11.00am: PipeHawk swoops for UK rival
PipeHawk PLC (LON:PIP) swooped to acquire Utsi Electronics (UtEl), sending its shares 5.7% higher to 9.25p.
PipeHawk will pay a maximum of £2mln for UtEl, a UK based manufacturer and designer of a wide range of special-purpose ground penetrating radar systems that are sold around the world under the Groundvue brand through mature distribution channels.
The products are said to be complementary to PipeHawk’s own ground penetrating radar systems.
10.05am: The Pru tumbles as it announces intention to raise fresh capital
Prudential PLC (LON:PRU), down 7.5% at 1,240p, led the FTSE 100 index lower as it signalled plans to raise fresh capital.
The Pru said it is looking to raise between US$2.5bn-US$3bn from shareholders as it confirmed it will demerge its US arm Jackson in the second quarter of 2021.
Jackson will list on the New York Stock Exchange once the deal is concluded, the Pru added, but will not be paying a separation dividend to the FTSE 100 insurer before the demerger.
9.10am: Investors get genedrive fever
Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) shares jumped 21% higher to 67.5p in early trade on Thursday as its coronavirus (COVID-19) testing technology got a sales distribution boost.
The kits will be sold in the US and Europe by genedrive partner Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, taking the pair’s previous collaboration agreement to the “next stage”.
The company said its 96 SARS-CoV-2 kit is ideally suited for use on Beckman’s high throughput robotic Biomek i7 instrument.
Elsewhere, Tern PLC (LON:TERN) flew 5.6% higher to 8.55p after it announced its portfolio company, Wyld Networks, had successfully raised £750,000 in an equity fundraising.
Tern ploughed £150,000 into the funding round, taking its stake to 78.7%, with the rest being coughed up by the same third-party investor that subscribed for £400,000 of convertible loan notes in Wyld Networks back in May of last year.
Based on the price at which the shares were lobbed out this time around, the book valuation of Tern’s holding in Wyld Networks has increased from to £4.1mln from £1.2m previously.
Proactive news headlines:
Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) said it noted the adverse movement in the company’s share price on Wednesday following the announcement of the trade for 27,400,000 shares by Alexei Churakov. The company said it had received no notification of this trade before it being reported by Churakov himself via RNS on January 27, 2021. Eurasia said it has made initial enquiries Churakov regarding the sale of the shares, and he has now notified the company that he sold the shares to cover an urgent and critical cash call; that all the shares were acquired by Veles International, a subsidiary of an investment company Veles Capital; and that he has no intention to sell his remaining shares and/or options.
Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) has said its coronavirus (COVID-19) testing technology will be sold in the US and Europe by partner Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, taking the pair’s previous collaboration agreement to the “next stage”. The company said its 96 SARS-CoV-2 kit is ideally suited for use on Beckman’s high throughput robotic Biomek i7 instrument. “The ready-to-go nature of the test removes many of the fluid dispensing steps required in competitor assays, increasing the overall throughput of the Biomek compared to using a liquid reagent-based test formulation,” investors were told.
Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) has told investors that its latest ‘excellent’ drill results at the Havieron project confirm the continuity of higher-grade mineralisation. The company highlighted the quarterly exploration report released by project operator Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) which included some of the findings from the Havieron deposit, in the Paterson region of Western Australia. Greatland noted that drilling programmes since May 2019 have outlined an ovoid-shaped zone and mineralisation has been observed to over 1,000 metres, vertically, and the mineralisation remains open at depth.
Panthera Resources PLC (LON:PAT), the diversified gold exploration and development company with assets in West Africa and India announced that it has issued 1,777,935 new ordinary Panthera shares following the conversion of 1,777,935 warrants at an exercise price of 6.68p each for gross proceeds of £118,766. The warrant conversion was under the commitments announced on December 14, 2020, and all warrants under the commitments announced then and on November 9, 2020, have now been exercised. There are no transaction and advisory fees payable for the early conversion of the warrants.
Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV) has said its profits this year will exceed expectations after house sales and mortgage demand rebounded strongly after the first coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The company said revenues for the year to end-December 2020 rose by 12% to £21.6mln, which was higher than pre-COVID-19 forecasts, helped by the performance of the Lovelle network acquired in January. House sale commissions rose by 12%, of which 10% came from Lovelle, while recurring franchise income rose by 2% to £9mln as Belvoir said the March lockdown had a minimal impact on lettings.
One Media IP Group PLC (LON:OMIP), the digital music rights specialist, has said it is to launch a new Men & Motors TV channel, augmenting the YouTube offering. The channel will be hosted by Shane Lynch, the Boyzone member, and Torie Campbell, best known for fronting “One Second in F1 Racing”, and will open up a new revenue stream for One Media, which acquired the rights to Men & Motors from Granada Television Products and ITV Digital Channels in 2012. Since then, the channel has been thriving as a YouTube offering and in 2020 the channel clocked up 134mln minutes of viewing, which is equivalent to 2.5mln viewing minutes per week.
Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has said it expects its full-year profits will be “marginally ahead” of guidance after a strong finish to 2020. In a trading update for the year to December 31, 2020, the provider of video game development services said it expects its revenues and adjusted pre-tax profit for the period to be €373mln and €55mln respectively compared to guidance of €367mln and €52mln issued on November 24. The company attributed the performance to “robust demand” for its services continuing through the second half of the year, although production constraints caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) had continued to delay the flow of some of its service lines.
IQ-AI Ltd (LON:IQAI) said its artificial intelligence model for generating simulated brain images without contrast agents has been refined and improved – so much so the AI model now very closely mimics actual, with-contrast images. IQ-AI said it will now present “full datasets” of images to a select team of neuro-radiologists who will qualitatively assess the quality of the simulated output images. Further validation will include a quantitative, voxel-wise, statistical comparison to understand how closely the model’s simulated results match real-world images.
Guild Esports PLC (LON:GILD) has announced the signing of its second sponsorship deal since making its London stock market debut on October 2, 2020. The UK-based owner and developer of esports teams said the new agreement is with HyperX, a leading gaming peripherals brand of Kingston Technology Company Inc, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products, based in Fountain Valley, California. The company said the confidential contract value is in line with the company’s expectations at the time of IPO.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (LON:COPL) (CVE:XOP) told investors it believes that new measures brought in by President Biden will have a “largely positive” effect on its acquisition of Atomic Oil and Gas. “The issues surrounding Federal Oil and Gas Leases enacted today by the President of the United States are complicated politically and possibly legislatively,” said Arthur Millholland, COPL chief executive in a statement. “However, we have done enough due diligence on Atomic and can safely say that the policy enacted today will have no undue influence on Atomic and its assets going forward and have therefore not hindered our resolve to complete the acquisition.”
accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) has said it expects revenues for 2020 to be ahead of its previous expectations following what the group said was a strong trading performance for its fourth quarter. In an update, the provider of queuing, ticketing and planning software said a “solid trading performance” reported in November had continued through the remainder of 2020, particularly over the North American holiday period, and as a result, it now expects to deliver revenue of “not less than US$55mln” for the full year with net cash of just under US$30mln.
Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) chairman David Bramhill has said that, in the company’s opinion, considerable upside remains in the West Newton project in Yorkshire. The company’s chairman made the comments as the group relayed details from a new technical presentation about the results of the West Newton B-1 and B-1Z appraisal wells. It noted that the presentation gave new significant technical data that is material to the ongoing commercial evaluation of the West Newton project.
Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI), the Africa-based sustainable forestry and timber group, said daily sawn timber production has risen strongly this year. Average daily sawn timber production to date in January was 60 cubic metres or more than a 100% increase on average daily production during 2020 while average daily veneer production was 18 cubic metes, a 16% rise over 2020. New management at the site in Mouila helped boost production said Woodbois, which noted that the Primultini sawmill line remains on track for completion within the current quarter.
Emmerson PLC (LON:EML) has released a 2020 Sustainability Summary which gives a forward-looking view on the development and construction of its world-class Khemisset potash project, in Morocco. The company highlighted that the highest standards were adopted to reflect on the company’s vision and values, which all can be summarised by the phrase ”doing the right things in the right way”. “The Khemisset project will not only contribute to the overarching agenda of enriching agricultural soils to provide affordable food for the world’s growing population but will have a positive impact on the local area because the directors are determined to do it in the right way,” said Graham Clarke, Emmerson chief executive in a statement.
World High Life PLC (LON:LIFE) said it has raised £566,206 through a share subscription for working capital purposes, while also reporting a rise in revenue for its first quarter. In an announcement released after the market close on Wednesday, the cannabidiol (CBD) specialist said it raised the funds through the issue of around 56.6mln shares at a price of 1p each, a 65% discount to its closing price on Wednesday, with subscribers also receiving one share purchase warrant for every share subscribed for, exercisable at a price of 1p each for the next two years.
Base Resources Limited (LON:BASE) left its production guidance for the current fiscal year unchanged as it updated on activities in the final quarter of the calendar year 2020. The African mineral sands producer may have left production guidance for its year to the end of June 2021 unchanged but it did reveal that ilmenite output is currently forecast to be towards the upper end of the guidance range. Base offered the caveat that the inherent uncertainties associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could yet prevent the company from hitting its production targets.
AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC) has unveiled its new zero-emission power generator that will be featured in the inaugural Extreme E electric SUV racing series. The Extreme E electric SUV (sport utility vehicle) series, which begins in April of this year, aims to highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems. The series will start in (of all places) Saudi Arabia. AFC got involved in the project in July of last year when it agreed to provide its proprietary, zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell technology to power the vehicles.
Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) has reported sharply reduced losses in its first half as the firm completed its transition to purely focus on cannabidiol (CBD) and away from its legacy natural resources business. In its results for the six months to September 30, 2020, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £1.13mln, narrowed from a £4.04mln loss a year earlier, while revenues came in at £0.05mln. The company said its transition to a CBD company was now “substantially complete” and that it has commenced a “significant roll out” of cannabis products post period end while operating expenses had been cut by 65% year-on-year.
Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (FRA:W1D) has completed its share purchase plan after increasing the offer size to $8 million from the initial $5 million targeted, following strong demand from existing retail shareholders. A total of 20 million new fully paid ordinary shares will be issued under the SPP at an issue price of 40 cents per share. It represents about 2.7% of SO4’s ordinary shares on issue post-completion of Tranche 2 of the placement.
Critical Metals Plc (LON:CRTM), a mining investment company established to target opportunities in the overlooked and under-analysed mining sector, has announced that at the Company’s annual general meeting held on Wednesday, all resolutions were duly passed. Russell Fryer, the group’s CEO, commented: “As we indicated in our recent CEO Newsletter announced to the market, to advance our strategy to identify and acquire brownfield mining opportunities in the strategic metals sector while building value for shareholders, we continue to consider a number of operators or near-term production operators within the natural resources development and production sector in the continent of Africa. This has led to a very small number of targets having been narrowed down with preliminary discussions continuing and I look forward to updating shareholders on developments as they arise.”
W Resources PLC (LON:WRES), the tungsten, tin and gold mining and exploration company with assets in Spain and Portugal said it has received a conversion notice from Atlas Capital Markets for £100,000 of convertible bonds, the fourth tranche of the first £500,000 tranche drawn from the £4mln facility. The company said, as a result, it will issue 96,899,224 ordinary shares of 0.1p each at a conversion price of 0.1032p per ordinary share.
Cobra Resources PLC (LON:COBR), the mining exploration company focused on the Wudinna Gold Project in South Australia, announced that it has received notice of exercise of 934,800 warrants to acquire 934,800 new ordinary shares at a price of 3p per share and notice of exercise of 1,000,000 warrants to acquire 1,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 2p per share.
Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR), the AIM-quoted exploration company focused on West Africa announced that, following an exercise of warrants over ordinary shares in the company, an application has been made for 5,742,473 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company to be admitted to trading on AIM on February 2, 2021. The exercise prices of the warrants were 842,473 warrants at 0.60p each and 4,900,000 warrants at 0.68 each.
Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ), the AIM-listed gold, copper and silver producer in Azerbaijan, has said that an updated corporate presentation is now available on the company’s website. The presentation will be given by the company this evening at the virtual One2One Investor Forum, hosted by Proactive Investors, from 6.00pm onwards. You can register to watch the virtual event using the following link: https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/register/event_details/314