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TRADING UPDATES: Oxford Metrics rebounds; Fulcrum reaffirms guidance

Thu, 02nd Dec 2021 19:23

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

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Oxford Metrics PLC - software company servicing infrastructure, life sciences, entertainment and engineering markets - Reports strong full year performance and recovery following pandemic impacting trading in prior year. Revenue in the year to September 30 was GBP35.6 million, up 18% from GBP30.3 million year before. Pretax profit doubles to GBP3.2 million from GBP1.6 million in the same period. Hails positive outlook with both divisions experiencing a strong start in the new financial year. Hikes payout to 2.00 pence from 1.80p year before. "Oxford Metrics is pleased to report a return to form with a strong full year performance and recovery following last year's pandemic impacted trading, with all the group's key financial metrics having improved. The pandemic demonstrated the group's resilience but has also accelerated market drivers in both Vicon and Yotta," says Chief Executive Nick Bolton.

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Induction Healthcare Group PLC - London-based hospital IT systems provider - Grows interim revenue for six months ended September 30 to GBP4.6 million from GBP582,000 year before. However pretax loss widens to GBP5.6 million from GBP3.2 million, driven by acquisition related costs this year. Looking ahead, states trading inline with market expectations on revenue for financial year 2022. Expects to be ahead of market expectations for adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, reaching a breakeven position for the full year compared to an Ebitda loss GBP4.8 million in financial year 2021. Chief Executive James Balmain says: "We are delighted to have reported such strong revenue growth, alongside a significant improvement in our underlying profitability. We've seen strong user growth across our range of products and are continuing to integrate and reduce costs at Attend Anywhere which we bought after a successful fundraising in June. We've delivered a record level of ARR at the period end which puts us on track to exceed market expectations for Ebitda in financial year 2022."

Separately, confirms Non-Executive Director Andy Williams buys 100,000 shares at 48p each for a total of GBP48,000.

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Fulcrum Utility Services Ltd - Sheffield-based utility infrastructure and services - Hails positive interim performance, with full year anticipated to be in line with expectations. Revenue for the six months ended September 30 increases by 46% on the previous year to GBP28.6 million from GBP19.5 million. States the results demonstrate a "strong recovery following Covid-19's impact". Majority of growth driven by the Infrastructure: Design and Build segment, reflecting increased activity on larger projects, Fulcrum says. Pretax loss narrows to GBP1.3 million from GBP3.7 million. "Fulcrum has demonstrated resilience during both the Covid-19 pandemic and the currently volatile energy market," says Chief Executive Terry Dugdale. "The board believes that this performance reflects the fundamental strength of the group's business model with its broad and diverse operations and revenue streams. The group has a substantially enlarged orderbook and healthy sales pipeline, which continues to grow."

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Belvoir Group PLC - Lincolnshire, England-based property franchise group - Reports trading for the ten months to the end of October ahead of management's expectations, with both of the group's divisions, property and financial services, achieving year-on-year growth. Now expects annual pretax profit ahead of prior management expectations. Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive, says: "In 2021 we have seen our franchisees and mortgage advisers take advantage of an exceptionally strong sales market. The sector undoubtedly benefitted hugely from the government's decision to extend the stamp duty holiday until September 2021, following which we have seen a predictable slowing in the number of new instructions as the market normalises."

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Trakm8 Holdings PLC - Birmingham-based telematics hardware company - Wins contract with Ticker to provide data management services for its new pay-per-mile insurance product. Trakm8's vehicle sensor car data will be used with Ticker's pricing and data capabilities, with an initial contract term of three years. Executive Chair John Watkins comments: "Ticker is one of the UK's fastest-growing motor insurtechs, and we are pleased to partner with them following a competitive trial process."

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Vesuvius PLC - London-based molten metal flow engineering firm - Buys Universal Refractories for USD57.1 million on a cash and debt free basis. Universal is a speciality refractory producer based in Pennsylvania, focused on steel continuous casting applications. Vesuvius Chief Executive Patrick Andre comments: "Universal is a strategically important acquisition for Vesuvius, which significantly expands Vesuvius' North American presence amongst electric arc furnace steel producers in our focus area of steel tundish applications, while also further strengthening our Foundry business."

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Empire Metals Ltd - Gold and copper miner with assets in Australia, Georgia and Austria - Begins second phase of drilling at Central Menzies gold project in Western Australia. Plans 1,360 metres of reverse circulation drilling. The phase 1 drill programme confirmed a consistent trending zone of oxide gold mineralisation extending for 500 metres along the western flank of the prospect. Managing Director Shaun Bunn says: "The results from the September drilling programme indicated the potential of a discovery at the Central Menzies Project, with a significant gold anomaly identified along a 500m strike length at Nugget Patch. The second phase of drilling, which is now underway, will test this anomaly at depth to determine if a higher-grade target persists beneath and further to the southwest."

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SolGold PLC - Brisbane, Australia-based developer of copper-gold deposits in Ecuador - Completes 26,000 metres of drilling at Tandayama-America porphyry copper-gold deposit at the Cascabel project in northern Ecuador. Says ongoing drilling points to "further potential resource growth". The Cascabel project is "still growing, and the additional resources being identified at TAM provide a strategic fit towards the development of the Cascabel property as a whole", SolGold notes.

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Duke Royalty Ltd - royalty finance company - Completes GBP4.2 million follow-on investment into existing royalty partner Bakhchysarai (Ireland) Ltd. BIL is the investment holding company created to execute a buy and build strategy of synergistic companies within the Irish and UK recruitment sector.

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Gear4Music PLC - York-based online musical instruments and equipment retailer - Completes purchase of home audio and visual equipment retailer AV Online, for an undisclosed sum. Separately, states that systems and supply chain operations performed well over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, and that it continues to be confident that full year financial results will be in line with recently revised consensus market expectations of revenue at GBP149.2 million and Ebitda of GBP12.0 million.

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Eden Research PLC - Cirencester-based agricultural chemicals producer - Granted authorisation of its biofungicide Mevalone for use on pome fruits, such as apples and pears, to prevent post-harvest storage diseases. The approval by the French regulatory authority ANSES represents the first full authorisation for a major new use and the first use of Mevalone on pome fruit, Eden claims. Chief Executive Sean Smith says: "The new use of Mevalone on apples, which are classed as a major crop in France, is an exciting development for Eden, and grows our addressable market in this key European territory. Mevalone has significant potential in several market segments, and we are focussed on developing the product to meet the needs of farmers who are increasingly unable to use many conventional chemicals due to more stringent regulations."

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Urban Logistics REIT PLC - UK industrial properties investor - Raises proceeds of GBP250 million through significantly oversubscribed initial placing. Issues 147.1 million shares at a price of 170 pence per share. Due to the "strength and quality of demand from investors", the group decided to increase the size of the issue from GBP200 million to GBP250 million. The cash will go towards its pipeline, Urban Logistics says.

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Ruffer Investment Co Ltd - closed-ended investment company incorporated in Guernsey - Raises GBP40.9 million via issue of 13.8 million shares. Of the 13.8 million shares issued, 10.6 million will be issued pursuant to an open offer and 3.2 million shares will be issued pursuant to an offer for subscription. "In 2021 alone, the company will have now issued almost 60 million shares, raising gross proceeds of more than GBP170 million, reflecting the strong investor interest in the Investment Manager's unique investment approach," says Chair Christopher Russell. "At a time when factors such as inflation and Covid-19 have left markets unsettled, we remain confident that the company's investment philosophy of targeting steady, positive annual returns in all conditions will continue to serve our shareholders well."

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Chill Brands Group PLC - Grand Junction, Colorado-based cannabidiol products - Launches CBD gummies and flavoured tinctures in the US. Launch builds on existing popularity of the company's gummies and tinctures in the UK, Chill Brands explains. Chill CBD gummies are available online as the company works to build its e-commerce presence. "We believe that we are offering some of the best gummies and tinctures on the market thanks to our manufacturing partnerships and developing lifestyle brand," states Chill Brands Co-CEO and founder, Antonio Russo.

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By Will Paige; willpaige@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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