(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of updates by London-listed companies, issued on Wednesday and not separately reported by Alliance News:
Avacta Group PLC - AIM-listed developer of Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents - Proceeding to full clinical valuation for its Covid-19 test to support a CE Mark, with a possible commercial launch of the test for professional use near the end of the first quarter of 2021. Chief Executive Alastair Smith says Avacta is close to fully establishing its supply chain for scalable manufacture of test kits and "making timely progress in instituting a quality management system to support the required ISO13485 accreditation for medical devices". The AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow rapid antigen test is, as far as Avacta is aware, "the most sensitive S1 spike lateral flow test available". December 31 cash position GBP28 million, a little higher than market forecasts.
Gooch & Housego PLC - Somerset-based optical components and systems maker - Notes improved levels of demand across industrial laser sector during the first four months of its financial year ending September 2021. This includes, in line with previously reported trends, continuing high levels of demand for fibre optics, hi-reliability fibre couplers as well as its Aerospace & Defence capabilities. Also sees strong growth from Life sciences. Recovering in industrial lasers led by Asian markets, though US and European markets now also showing "encouraging trends" while 5G rollout "has fuelled demand led growth, building on the previously reported recovery in semiconductors". A&D order book robust. Medial diagnostics demonstrating good growth with improves levels of demand for medical laser products, previously hurt by reduced non-Covid-19 procedures in financial 2020. Cash generation robust, net debt further shrinks in first four months of financial year despite payment of final earn out associated with an acquisition. January 31 order book GBP95.0 million, a little higher than the previous year's GBP94.1 million. Streamlining manufacturing sites, with all product lines at Glenrothes, Scotland facility transferred to new UK Precision Optics hub in Ilminster and Glenrothes site now closed. Outsourcing of Acousto Optic products from Ilminster to Asian contract manufacturer "progressing well" and set to complete by financial year end. Begins transferring production from St Asaph, Wales facility to Ilminster Precision Optics hub. Optical systems engineering and design centre to be retained in St Asaph. Target completion of both projects by current financial year end.
Proactis Holdings PLC- Wetherby-based cash management software company - Expects to post a drop in revenue for the six months ended January 31 to GBP23.7 million from GBP24.5 million but with higher adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of GBP6.2 million versus GBP5.6 million the year before. Explains that its operating margins have improved after it restructures its management team and operating costs base. Says net bank debt at the end of January was GBP39.7 million, up from GBP37.1 million on July 31. Explains that its position has been hurt by a reduction in cash levels from its outsourced sourcing business as a consequence of lower trading volumes due to Covid-19 plus cash flow and upfront costs of the restructure. Expects to post a half-year performance in line with board expectations.
Echo Energy PLC - Latin America focused upstream oil and gas company - Agrees, along with Santa Cruz Sur partners, to capital expenditure for upgrading and debottlenecking the existing liquids pipelines in the Santa Cruz Sur assets, located in onshore Argentina. This will accelerate a return to full oil production and bring remaining volumes, previously shut in the second quarter of 2020, back online. This follows an increase in demand, which resulted in improved pricing and more frequent oil sales. Pipeline upgrades will also grant additional capacity for production enhancement product in the future, which have been identified. Capital expenditure, net to Echo's 70% working interest in Santa Cruz Sur, will be around USD175,000 and will be injected by Echo to replace and upgrade parts of the infrastructure - mostly in the Chorillos, Campo Molino and Cerro Convento fields. Installation is expected to take around 45 days with 10 upgrade projects to be completed, upgrading a total of around 23 kilometres of pipeline and restoring gross daily liquids production to between 480 barrels of oil per day and 600 bopd, or 336bopd to 420 bopd net to Echo. In 2020, total cumulative production net to Echo from Santa Cruz Sur was 720,000 boe. From January
Alba Mineral Resources PLC- mineral exploration and development company with assets in Greenland and the UK - Says it has planned the next phase of regional exploration for the Dolgellau gold exploration project in north Wales. The next phase of work over the field involves stream sediment sampling, which is designed to identify hard-rock gold sources upstream of sampling locations. This will be the first field work to take place over Alba's Gwynfynydd exploration licence area since the licence was warded in November 2020. Chair George Frangeskides, says: "For the first time, we will be expanding our regional exploration programme to cover our recently granted Gwynfynydd exploration licence. We are very optimistic about the prospects for finding new gold deposits in the Dolgellau gold field."
Angling Direct PLC - Norwich, Norfolk-based fishing tackle and equipment retailer - Expects to post a 27% revenue increase for its financial year ended January 31 to GBP67.6 million from GBP53.2 million the year before despite closure of its retail stores and only being able to operate on a "call & collect" basis under lockdown rules. This growth results from online sales, up 40% to GBP35.3 million from GBP25.2 million with. Total store sales, including call & collect, rose 16% to GBP32.3 million from GBP27.9 million with the total number of stores increasing to 38 on January 31 from 34 the prior year and new stores contributed GBP2.2 million in sales. Forecasts pre IFRS-16 Ebitda of at least GP3.8 million for financial 2021 versus a GBP500,000 loss year-on-year. Cash position at January end GBP15.0 million, sharply rising from GBP5.9 million the year before. Not providing guidance for financial 2022 until full extent of Covid-19 disruption is known.
IronRidge Resources Ltd - Australia-based minerals exploration company - Drilling progressing well at the Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana, with around 4,1000 in 40 reverse circulation holes completed so far. Says visible coarse spodumene mineralisation has been observed in 36 holes to date, with maximum reported pegmatite internals up to 36 metres and approximating true width. Spodumene mineralisation has been observed in most pegmatite targets tested, with good continuity up to 300 metres along strike and down dip. Average pegmatite widths between 10 and 15 metres. So far, three of the seven pegmatite target zones have been drill tested and drilling is ongoing, with assays pending. Chief Executive Vincent Mascolo says: "This drilling programme is a key part of our work towards expanding the resource base on what is widely considered to be an industry-leading asset. We are now evaluating options to fast track the project to production to take advantage of the increasing demand for lithium and its role in the future growth of stored energy initiatives."
By Anna Farley; email@example.com
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