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TRADING UPDATES: Origin Enterprises loss slims; Amryt issues guidance

Thu, 4th Mar 2021 12:46

(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of updates by London-listed companies, issued on Thursday and not separately reported by Alliance News:

Origin Enterprises PLC - Dublin-based agri-services provider - Revenue for six months to end of January falls to EUR572.4 million from EUR604.9 million, though pretax loss slims to EUR2.5 million from EUR7.2 million. "Operating profit of EUR1.2 million in the period compared favourably to a loss of EUR2.8 million in H1 2020. This was largely as a result of a more normalised cropping profile across the group, set against last year's highly unseasonal and prolonged weather conditions which materially impacted business performance in H1 2020," says Chief Executive Sean Coyle. Says first half performance sets "positive foundation" for full-year, though uncertainties remain heading into the seasonally more important second half. Says well-placed to deliver "good" growth in earnings for full-year.

Amryt Pharma PLC - London-based biopharmaceutical company - Reports 19% growth in 2020 revenue to USD182.6 million, though pretax loss widens to USD105.9 million from USD63.5 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses more than double to USD76.7 million from USD35.5 million. "Our business continues to perform and grow strongly. In particular, our revenue growth exceeded expectations and the fact that we turned Ebitda profitable has translated into a significant increase in our cash balances. Given the strong performance of our business in 2020, we are now issuing revenue guidance for FY 2021 of [between USD200 million and USD205 million] which demonstrates our confidence in Amryt's prospects," says Chief Executive Joe Wiley.

Hutchison China Meditech Ltd - China-based biopharmaceutical company - Total revenue for 2020 USD228.0 million, up from USD204.9 million the year before. Net loss widens to USD115.5 million from USD103.7 million. Guides to Oncology/Immunology consolidated revenue of USD110 million toUSD130 million, versus USD30.2 million in 2020. Adds it intends to seek shareholder approval to change it name to Hutchmed China Ltd to its forthcoming annual general meeting. "Over the next three years, we will continue to grow our R&D and commercial organizations globally to support the anticipated launch of our oncology drugs in China, the US and Europe," says Chair Simon To.

Syncona Ltd - investor in life science companies - Notes portfolio company, Autolus Therapeutics PLC, reports net loss of USD142.1 million for 2020, wider than USD123.8 million in 2019. "Autolus' primary focus is on delivering the potential pivotal Auto1 program and the company starts 2021 in a position of financial strength, having raised a total of USD131 million in gross proceeds this quarter, giving us a cash runway into the first half of 2023," says Christian Itin, chair and chief executive of Autolus.

Cairn Homes PLC - Irish homebuilding company - Revenue for 2020 slumps to EUR261.9 million from EUR435.3 million in 2019, while pretax profit drops over 100% to EUR14.8 million from EUR58.6 million. Says current closed and forward order book of new homes underpins growth for 2021 with an underlying margin "comfortably higher" than reported margin in 2020. 2020 operating margin weakened to 9.3% from 15.6%. "Our construction sites have been closed since the start of the year and assuming they fully reopen on 6 April 2021, Cairn's construction activities will be limited to just over 8 months in the current year. This will have an impact on the number of new homes which we will be able to build and sell in 2021," company says.

Pacific Horizon Investment Trust PLC - invests in Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan and Indian sub-continent - Reports net asset value per share of 699.01 pence at end of January, up 45% from 481.92p at July-end. NAV per share total return 45% while share price total return was 53% as the premium increased to 10% from 4.6%. Over the same period the MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index's total return was 21% in sterling terms. "Our holdings outperformed in most regions. At the index level, Materials was the best performing sector, up 70.0%, followed by Consumer Discretionary up 49.5% and Communications Services up 48.7%. The worst were Information Technology, up 34.6%, Industrials up 22.6% and Energy up 5.7%," firm says.

Mid Wynd International Investment Trust PLC - looks to invest in high quality companies, with proven profitability and high levels of cash generation - Net asset value per share at December 31 698.66p, up 14% from 612.61p at June 30 and 581.10p at end of 2019. For six months to end of December, company's share price rose 18% on a total return basis with dividends assumed to be re-investment, while NAV per share rose 15% on total return basis. This compares to a total return from the MSCI All Country World Index (GBP) of 12%. "Although we have outperformed our comparator index, which is of course pleasing, this outperformance would have been greater had we held Tesla and more Apple shares in line with the index," firm notes.

Hansard Global PLC - specialist long-term savings provider - Says new business levels GBP76.3 million for half-year to December 31 on a present value of new business premiums basis, down 4.7% on a year ago. Pretax profit up 12% to GBP2.9 million from GBP2.6 million year-on-year due to lower new business acquisition costs. Declares stable interim dividend of 1.8p per share.

Online Blockchain PLC - holds around 18% stake in investor website operator ADVFN PLC and incubates developers of blockchains and cryptocurrencies - Revenue for six months to December 31 GBP56,000, increasing 27% from GBP44,000 a year ago, while pretax loss slims to GBP76,000 from GBP144,000. Says it is excited for prospects for blockchain, "irrespective" of the value of bitcoin in 2021. Notes that ADVFN PLC, its largest asset, reports revenue of GBP4.2 million over the same period, up from GBPP3.7 million a year ago.

Crystal Amber Fund Ltd - activist fund investing in small and mid-cap UK equities - Net asset value per share grew 22% over the six months to December 31 to 129 pence, versus a 24% increase in Numis Small Cap Index. "The period under review saw ongoing uncertainty from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as final Brexit negotiations. The latter adversely affected the appetite of global investors for UK stocks, specifically small and medium sized companies, as well as the appetite of corporate acquirers for attractively priced targets," firm says, adding that this has left many UK companies undervalued by international standards and if the UK's rapid vaccination programme does translate into earlier economic recovery, there should be a re-rating.

ThinkSmart Ltd - specialist digital payments business - Total revenue for six months to December 31 GBP2.4 million from GBP3.3 million, though pretax profit jumps to GBP53.7 million from GBP16.0 million after recording GBP52.9 million gain on financial instruments versus GBP16.6 million a year ago. "While our strategic efforts are focused on further value creation for shareholders via our holding in Clearpay, the managed wind down of our legacy operations continues to generate positive cash flow as we control costs while rightsizing the operations to lower volumes. This leaves our balance sheet robust. There is inherent, tangible value within our proprietary payments technology and we are continuing to consider how best to optimise the value of this asset," Executive Chair Ned Montarello says.

Manx Financial Group PLC - Isle of Man-based financial services firm - Net interest income for 2020 GBP15.5 million, down from GBP17.9 million in 2019. Net trading income edges down 3.7% to GBP15.4 million from GBP16.0 million. Pretax loss falls 33% to GBP2.0 million from GBP3.0 million, with impairments on loans and advances to customers rising to GBP4.0 million from GBP1.9 million. "The Isle of Man has successfully bounced back from lockdowns, as shown by the less than expected uptake in the government support schemes, our positive lending figures and the encouraging recent government budget. As such, I expect a continued improvement in the economy on Island which will, in turn, create a positive environment for our lending and wealth management businesses to operate within," company says.

Franchise Brands PLC - Macclesfield-based multi-brand franchise business - Reports revenue of GBP49.3 million for 2020, up 12% on 2019's GBP44.0 million. Pretax profit rises 12% to GBP3.7 million from GBP3.3 million. "Resilient performance following strong growth in Q1, early and decisive action taken during the Spring lockdown to reduce costs, and a strong recovery across the majority of businesses during the second half of the year," company says. Proposes final dividend for 2020 of 0.8p per share, up from 0.65p in 2019, to give total payout of 1.1p, up 16%. Says trading has started strongly in 2021, with resilient sales in the B2B division and robust recruitment in the B2C division.

Airea PLC - West Yorkshire-based floor coverings manufacturer - Revenue for 2020 falls 24% to GBP14.6 million from GBP19.2 million in 2019, while pretax profit dives to GBP500,000 from GBP2.0 million. Says after strong start in first quarter, the pandemic hit the group's ability to trade. "Whilst the group remained open for business throughout the year management had to reassess its strategic priorities and made the decision to prioritise cash and working capital to provide the best defence against uncertainty," company says.

MediaZest PLC - London-based audio visual services firm - Reports revenue of GBP3.1 million for eighteen months to September 30 versus GBP3.3 million in the twelve months to March 31, 2019. Swings to pretax loss of GBP478,000 from GBP6,000 profit. Says results for eighteen month period hit by pandemic, with a significant reduction in revenue particularly during the first UK lockdown. "At this time, it remains difficult to fully assess the extent to which the Pandemic will affect the group's forthcoming trading and financial performance as the situation continues to evolve. The second national lockdown in November 2020 and closure of many retail businesses had an impact, however new project pitches have increased in number since the start of 2021, despite the third national lockdown coming into effect," Mediazest says. Firm working on the assumption that the disruption caused by the pandemic will have an impact "deep" into 2021.

By Lucy Heming;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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