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TRADING UPDATES: Aquis maiden full-year profit; Tern turns to profit

Wed, 31st Mar 2021 15:33

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



Card Factory PLC - Wakefield, West Yorkshire-based card and gift retailer - Confirms constructive discussions with its banking syndicate continue. The banks, who continue to be "supportive", company says, have provided further waivers in respect of anticipated covenant breaches through until April 30, 2021. "We are hopeful that our stores are able to reopen for trading during April 2021 and look forward to welcoming our colleagues and customers back into our stores," company adds.



Tullow Oil PLC - South America and Africa-focused oil and gas company - Completes sale of its assets in Equatorial Guinea to Panoro Energy ASA. Company received a payment of USD88.8 million from Panoro, and deal also includes contingent cash payments of up to USD16 million which are linked to asset performance and oil price. "Although Tullow will continue to have a financial link to the assets in Ceiba and Okume fields, the closing of this transaction marks Tullow's exit from its licences in Equatorial Guinea after 18 years. On receipt of funds, Tullow has net debt of about USD2.3 billion and liquidity headroom of about USD1 billion," company says. Expects sale of the Dussafu asset in Gabon to Panoro to complete in the second quarter of 2021. A further USD5 million consideration is due be paid to Tullow after both transactions with Panoro have completed.



Aquis Exchange PLC - London-based exchange services provider - Revenue for 2020 jumps 67% to GBP11.5 million from GBP6.9 million, and firm swings to pretax profit of GBP470,395 from loss of GBP921,836. Membership of Aquis Exchange grew to 33 in 2020, from 30 in 2019. Market share of pan-European continuous trading increased to 4.7% during the fourth quarter of 2020 versus 4.2% a year ago. "For any founder it is a very proud day when you are able to announce your company's first full year profit. The fact that Aquis has delivered this against the backdrop of COVID-19 and Brexit is even more remarkable and demonstrates the ongoing value of our offering," says Chief Executive Alasdair Haynes.



Tern PLC - internet of things-focused investor - Reports pretax profit of GBP803,891 for 2020, swinging from loss of GBP780,643 in 2019. Total investment income surges to GBP2.1 million from GBP418,522. Net asset value per share rises to 7.3p at end of 2020 from 7.0p year ago. "We entered the new financial year with a resilient and tested portfolio and remain optimistic to carry the positive momentum generated in the second half of 2020 across the portfolio into the new year," Tern says. Separately, notes maturity date for all convertible loan notes provided to Device Authority Ltd by Tern, Also Louie Partners and the George Samenuk Family Trust, has been extended to November 30, 2021.



Cloudcall Group PLC - Leicester, England-based provider of unified communications and contact centre software - Revenue for 2020 rises 4% to GBP11.8 million from GBP11.4 million, but pretax loss widens to GBP6.7 million from GBP3.7 million. Year started well, but Covid-19 created uncertainty. "The rapidly implemented cost reduction measures, along with employee retention grant funding received in both the UK and the US, helped to reduce operating costs by approximately GBP1.3m from previously planned levels. However, despite these savings, adjusted Ebitda losses widened during the year from GBP2.2m in 2019 to GBP4.4m in 2020," company says. However, says it has already returned to monthly recurring revenue growth, and as market conditions continue to improve, expects to previous levels of growth.



NetScientific PLC - life sciences and technology investment and commercialisation company - Revenue for 2020 slumps to GBP394,000 from GBP735,000 but pretax loss slims to GBP2.4 million from GBP3.6 million as both research & development costs and general & administrative costs reduce. Says year was one of "turnaround, transformation and significant progress". "Trading for the year was in line with management expectations, as the Group stabilised its position and started to reap the benefits of the new growth strategy. This was further enhanced by the all-paper acquisition of EMV Capital Ltd broadening the portfolio and resources, together with the successful GBP2.3 million placement in August 2020. This puts the Company on a strong footing for the year ahead," says NetScientific.



InnovaDerma PLC - London-based developer of beauty, personal care and life science products - Revenue for half-year to end of December GBP4.1 million, down 20% from GBP5.1 million a year ago, and pretax loss widens to GBP1.2 million from GBP347,501. Says revenue hit by the pandemic, while gross profit margin fell to 49.9% from 60.7%, reflecting a continuation of the Covid-19 impacted mix trend from the second half of last financial year. "We remain confident that historic consumption levels will return quickly as restrictions on social interactions are lifted and that InnovaDerma will emerge from the pandemic a stronger, more digitally agile business with the right leadership to compete and win in the digital commerce world of today," firm says.



Parkmead Group PLC - energy firm focused on growth through gas, oil and renewables projects - Revenue for six months to end of December GBP1.5 million, down from GBP2.1 million a year ago, and pretax loss steady at GBP1.4 million. Exploration & evaluation expenses drop to GBP605,000 from GBP1.5 million, while administrative expenses grow to GBP1.2 million from GBP836,000. Notes gross profit of GBP800,000, despite the historic low gas prices seen in the period, demonstrating the "high-quality nature" of its onshore Netherlands assets. Notes that gas prices have recovered strongly and Netherlands assets remain very low cost to operate. "I am pleased to report excellent progress in the six-month period to 31 December 2020 across the group, despite our revenues being impacted by the low gas price environment. Parkmead has made significant advances within its asset portfolio, whilst retaining financial strength. This creates a very good foundation from which to build as the energy sector continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic," says Executive Chair Tom Cross.



Associated British Engineering PLC - Cambridge-headquartered engineering services firm - Revenue for 18 months to September 30 slumps to GBP165,000 from GBP1.1 million for the year ended March 31, 2019, though reports pretax profit of GBP145,000 versus GBP1.8 million loss. Operating costs come in at just GBP26,000 for recent period, compared to GBP2.6 million. "Your company is now in a position to talk to potential acquisitions without having to consider the impact of the pension fund and related historical deficits. Your board is now committed to using all its efforts to identifying and acquiring a new business with growth potential and hopefully showing profits for our group and a financial return for our patient shareholders," company says.



Kazera Global PLC - investment company focused on opportunities principally, but not exclusively in the resources and energy sectors - On Wednesday reports both interim and full-year results. For financial year ended June 30, 2020, reports pretax loss of GBP1.0 million, slimming from GBP1.3 million the year before as pre-production expenses fall.

For six months to end of 2020, the first half of its 2021 financial year, reports pretax loss of GBP540,000, widening slightly from GBP524,000 a year ago. Forecasts that, in the absence of other funding, future revenue from the company's South African diamond mining along with existing available cash resources will be sufficient to cover operating cash outflows for next 12 months. "Significant progress has been achieved across our portfolio and I can say with some confidence that we look to enter 2021 in one of the strongest positions the Company has ever been in," says Chief Executive Larry Johnson.



Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd - developer and operator of consumer businesses in Myanmar - For 18 months to September 30, revenue comes in at USD10.2 million compared to GBP5.4 million for the 12 months to the end of March, 2020 and USD4.4 million for the 12 months to end of March, 2019. Pretax loss USD8.7 million for recent period, wider than the USD3.3 million reported for the year ended in March 2020 and USD2.6 million for the 2019 year. "While we are acutely aware of its complex political and social environment, we continue to maintain an optimistic stance on Myanmar's economic prospects, and we aim to contribute to its positive development as a responsible investor in the region," company says.



Belvedere Leisure Resorts PLC - luxury holiday resort developer - Pretax loss for six months to December 31 widens to GBP891,611 from GBP329,452 a year ago, with no revenue reported for either period. The wider loss is the sole result of an increase in expenses. Says business remains is focused on progressing its fundraising strategy and pushing forward on its UK leisure development project opportunities. "Whilst we are conscious of the overall economic climate we believe that the current environment makes our proposed UK holiday resorts an even more attractive investment proposition," Belvedere says.



Tricorn Group PLC - UK-based manufacturer of pipes - Changes accounting reference date to 30 September, resulting in an 18 month reporting period. Sinks to pretax loss of GBP7.7 million in 18 months to September 30, 2020 compared to GBP950,000 profit in 12 months to March 30, 2019. Revenue up to GBP25.4 million from GBP22.8 million. "Tricorn has experienced an extended period of challenging markets and turbulent trading. We have made significant changes to our senior executive team, who are focused on improving our operations and implementing new commercial strategies. Customer demand is steadily improving which is a welcome sign that the company is returning to pre-pandemic levels of production activity," company says.



Contango Holdings PLC - natural resource development company - Records pretax loss of GBP1.1 million in six months to November 30 versus GBP258,027 loss in year to May 31. Does not generate revenue in either period. Administrative fees rise to GBP1.1 million from GBP258,027. "The period under review bore witness to the most significant advances in Contango's development since incorporation as the company shifted from being an investment company to an operational natural resource development company with two high quality assets - both with near term production potential," company adds.



GLI Finance Ltd - AIM-listed alternative finance company - Pretax loss in 2020 widens to GBP14.5 million from GBP9.7 million in 2019. Revenue slips to GBP10.9 million from GBP13.1 million. Credit losses grows to GBP4.7 million from GBP1.5 million in 2019. Chief Executive Andy Whelan says the pandemic hurt the company during 2020 as it was forced to increase credit loss provisions. "We have taken a cautious view of our loan exposure as although we have not seen any losses materialise we are mindful of the pressures created by Covid-19. We also took a material write-down on the FinTech Ventures portfolio with a total net write down of GBP6 million for the full year," Whelan adds. Company notes intention to restructure its business, focusing its resources on delivering a business plan for a secured property focussed lending business. "We have started work on this and expect over the course of 2021 to simplify the group and will update shareholders of our progress in due course," company adds.



By Lucy Heming; lucyheming@alliancenews.com and Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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