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LONDON TRADING UPDATES: Alliance Pharma 2020 Revenue Slips By 5%

Wed, 20th Jan 2021 17:40

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

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Alliance Pharma PLC - healthcare company - Expects see-through revenue for 2020 to be down 5% on the prior year at GBP137.5 million from GBP144.3 million reported for 2019, both on a reported basis and on a constant currency basis, reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Underlying pretax profit for 2020 is expected to be marginally ahead of market expectations. "As we progress into 2021, we look forward to regaining the strong momentum and revenue growth of recent years, and to benefiting from the additional growth opportunities that Amberen brings into the group," said Chief Executive Peter Butterfield. The acquisition of Biogix has brought Amberen into Alliance Pharma, a brand for the relief of menopause symptoms. The acquisition creates scale in the company's business in the US and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2021 and significantly earnings enhancing from 2022.

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IQE PLC - semiconductor wafer products manufacturer - Says revenue for 2020 is expected to be GBP178 million compared to GBP140 million a year earlier. This is consistent with previously issued guidance of at least GBP170 million and represents over 25% year-on-year growth. IQE says trading remained favourable in the final quarter of 2020 and it enters 2021 with positive momentum in both the Wireless and Photonics business units.

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Bonhill Group PLC - B2B media business - Delivers a strong second half of 2020, with GBP10.1 million of revenue, versus GBP7.7 million reported in the first half. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of GBP1.6 million in the second half was a swung from a loss of GBP1.7 million in the first half. This was as a result of the swift and positive action taken during the early months of the pandemic, Bonhill explains. Revenue for 2020 is therefore expected to be GBP17.8 million, down from GBP24.4 million for 2019, and adjusted Ebitda of GBP100,000 versus GBP2.3 million the year before. During 2021, the company says it expects to see additional savings from supplier agreements and reduced rental costs - both from the renegotiated lease in the US and from exiting its head office, Fleet House, in June 2021. As a result, Bonhill says it expects to see revenue growth of 12% in 2021 and to report Ebitda of GBP1.2 million, excluding any government support.

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Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC - investment firm - Says as at the end of 2020, the property portfolio was independently valued by CBRE GmbH at EUR430.2 million, an increase of 6.0% on the end of September 2020 valuation of EUR405.7 million on a like-for-like basis. The company says 100% of rent due for the quarter ended December 2020 has been collected. Total rent collection for the entire 2020 is 97% of rent due under original tenant agreements, with the balance consisting of agreed rent deferrals and rent free periods granted in exchange for material lease extensions. The company says it expects its unaudited net asset value per share as at December 31 to have increased materially since the end of September 2020, which was 112.7 euro cents.

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Mission Group PLC - marketing communications and advertising company - Says despite challenging backdrop, the strong recovery in trading momentum was experienced in the second half of 2020, reversing the first half losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the company says it now expects full year headline pretax profit to be over GBP1 million, comfortably ahead of market expectations. Reflecting on this strengthened position, the company says it now proposes to reinstate the deferred 2019 final dividend of 1.53 pence per share. This dividend was committed to before Covid-19 and will be payable on March 1, to those shareholders on the share register as at close of business on February 12.

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City of London Investment Group PLC - asset management company - Says on a consolidated basis, as at December 31, funds under management were USD11.0 billion. This compares with USD5.5 billion at the company's year end at the end of June 2020. The company says it estimates the unaudited profit before amortisation, exceptional items and taxation for the six months to the end of 2020 to be GBP11.6 million versus GBP6.3 million a year earlier. The unaudited profit before amortisation and taxation for the six months to the end of 2020 to be GBP9.9 million compared to GBP6.3 million the year before. The company says it has decided to increase the interim dividend by 1p year-on-year to 11p per share, which will be paid on March 19 to shareholders registered at the close of business on March 5.

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Midwich Group PLC - audio visual distributor - Says trading recovery continued in the second half of the year and, as a consequence of a strong close in November and December. The company says it now expects to report revenue for 2020 in excess of GBP710 million, representing growth of 4% over the prior year. Underlying sales before the effect of in-year acquisitions were 7% lower in the second half of 2020 than in the comparative period, compared with 22% lower in the first half, giving an overall decline of 14% for the year. The company says it now anticipates reporting adjusted pretax profit for 2020 of GBP14 million, significantly ahead of its prior expectations.

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Argentex Group PLC - foreign exchange advisory and execution services provider - Says trading has continued to improve since the end of November 2020. Although the full effect of the latest lockdown has yet to be felt, the recent Brexit trade agreement and the successful implementation of the vaccine programme for Covid-19 provides the company with confidence that this encouraging trend, driven by a return to historic client trading behaviour, will continue for the remainder of the financial year to the end of March. In addition, Argentex says it appointed Jo Stent as chief financial officer with effect from February 1. She has been a senior finance professional for 25 years, most recently as CFO of the European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe. She is a former CFO of Vodafone Americas. Also, Carl Jani, joint chief executive, is taking a leave of absence from the business for health reasons with immediate effect. In this interim period, Harry Adams, joint CEO, will assume the role of sole CEO.

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Van Elle Holdings PLC - engineering contractor - Reports revenue for the six months to the end of October of GBP38.3 million compared to GBP48.5 million a year earlier. Van Elle reports a swing to loss of GBP700,000 versus GBP900,000 profit a year prior. The company says first quarter of its current financial year was significantly impacted by the downturn in the wider construction market caused by Covid-19 restrictions. More positively, the company sees encouraging recovery in trading during the second quarter, with activity recovering to pre-Covid levels and the company returning to profitability in September and October. Trading in the early part of the third quarter has been in line with expectations, with an order book at January 7 of GBP23.6 million versus GBP21.4 million at the end of April 2020.

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Autins Group PLC - manufacturer of the patented Neptune melt-blown material - Says revenue for the year to the end of September 2020 decreased to GBP21.5 million from GBP26.9 million a year ago. Autins says revenue in the second half has been impacted by the pandemic and totalled GBP7.8 million versus GBP13.2 million the prior year. Autins says its loss for the year widened to GBP1.8 million compared to GBP1.5 million a year ago. "Despite the unprecedented challenges faced this year we have still delivered on many of the performance targets we set ourselves a year ago," says Chief Executive Gareth Kaminski-Cook. "The strategy, therefore, does not change. We will leverage Neptune to win market share in automotive, leverage our acoustic and thermal expertise to accelerate growth in non-auto markets and drive down our operational costs."

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Craneware PLC - financial software provider - Delivers a strong performance in the first half of the year against the ongoing backdrop of the pandemic and a volatile dollar exchange rate. The increased sales momentum has resulted in growth at both the revenue and adjusted Ebitda levels of greater than 5% compared to the first half of the prior year. Craneware reports revenue for the half-year of USD35.9 million and adjusted Ebitda of USD12.7 million.

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Mortgage Advice Bureau Holdings PLC - the company which offers mortgage advices - Says revenue for 2020 is expected to be GBP148 million, representing an increase of 3% on 2019. The total number of advisers at year end had increased by 8% to 1,580 from 1,457 a year ago. The company says its pretax profit for 2020 is expected to be materially ahead of current market expectations. The company says it has started 2021 with a very strong pipeline of both written business and adviser recruitment. In addition, Mortgage Advice Bureau says it appointed Mike Jones as an independent non-executive director, with effect from March 1. Jones will serve on the Audit, Remuneration, Nomination, and Group Risk Committees.

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Air Partner PLC - aviation services firm - Says, despite global travel restrictions, the company has performed better than expected and ahead of market expectations in the second half of 2020. Accordingly, the company says it now expects to announce an underlying pretax profit of no less than GBP11.5 million for the full year ending January 31.

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MaxCyte Inc - life sciences company - Says 2020 revenue is expected to be USD26.2 million, an increase of 21% compared to the prior year's USD21.6 million, and ahead of market expectations. While Covid-19 had some negative impact, revenue growth continued in the second half of 2020, increasing by 15% over the second half of 2019 to USD15.3 million compared to USD13.2 million. This growth reflects the increasing adoption and use of the company's products and technologies and was buoyed by the launch of an expanded ExPERT range of disposables in 2020, which broadens applications available to customers. Going forward, MaxCyte says it is fully focused on expanding its core business and expects to deliver accelerating revenue growth in 2021.

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Deltex Medical Group PLC - oesophageal Doppler monitoring company - Says revenue for 2020 was GBP2.4 million compared to GBP4.3 million reported for 2019. Revenue in the year was adversely affected by the impact of Covid-19 and the associated significant reduction in elective surgical procedures worldwide. In addition, the company says it appointed Tim Irish as a director with immediate effect. Irish's current appointments cover life sciences and healthcare, both public and private, including his board role at NICE where he is vice chair, various European med-tech supervisory board roles, and professor of practice at King's College London's School of Management & Business.

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Arc Minerals Ltd - junior exploration company - Reports loss of GBP376,000 for the six months to the end of September compared to GBP872,000 loss a year earlier, as administrative expenses rose to GBP1.1 million form GBP944,000. No revenue was reported for either year. The company also says that the remaining convertible loan note lender has notified that it is converting at the last equity financing price of 3.5 pence per share the remaining balance of the principal debt plus accrued interest, totalling GBP220,275, resulting in the issuance of 6.3 million shares. Following the conversion, the balance of the convertible loan note facility will be nil.

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Scirocco Energy PLC - investing company - Notes the positive update provided by Helium One Ltd, in which it was announced that work has commenced to mobilise surface geochemical exploration at the Eyasi project in southern Tanzania. Scirocco holds an interest of 4.3% in the share capital of Helium One, and 1 million share options. The company says fieldwork will focus on evaluating historic seep locations as well as identifying potential new seep locations at the southern end of the project area.

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Jupiter UK Growth Investment Trust PLC - investment firm - Agrees the liquidation and rollover terms and says the cash exit will now be the default option and shareholders wishing to rollover their investment into the Rollover Fund will have to elect to do so. The move follows the company's announcement on December 3 that it would be wound up voluntarily.

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Target Healthcare REIT PLC - investor in modern, purpose-built care homes - Says, as of Wednesday, the administration of the first dose under the vaccination programme is well advanced in 86% of its care homes, with commencement expected for the remainder of the portfolio prior to the government target of January 31. There are currently confirmed Covid-19 cases in 2.4% of total portfolio beds across 14 care homes, down from the peak of 3.2% suspected or confirmed cases of total portfolio beds across 32 care homes during the third week of April 2020.

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Schroder British Opportunities Trust PLC - investment firm - Says its portfolio currently includes twenty-three public equity and three private equity holdings and it is now more than 70% invested. Since launch seven weeks ago, the company says it has participated in two equity offerings and the market has since responded positively to both issuances. The first was Invinity Energy Systems, a manufacturer of vanadium flow batteries, which raised GBP22.5 million in a placing and open offer. The second was Ideagen PLC, a supplier of information management software solutions, which raised GBP48.7 million and has since used part of the proceeds to fund the acquisition of Harmony UK Holdings, a software-as-a-service based secure content collaboration and workflow solution with customers across highly regulated sectors.

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Ridgecrest PLC - recruitment consultancy - Says it has been notified by the liquidator of its dormant Australian subsidiaries in Sydney and Melbourne that both liquidations are now being finalised. The company took the decision in 2018 to cease trading in Australia and the Australian subsidiaries were put into two separate liquidation processes at that time.

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Starvest PLC - investment company - Notes the change in its share price, down 13% to 25.70 pence. Starvest says the change closely follows the move in the share price of its investee company Greatland Gold PLC, which is down 15% to 28.55p. Starvest says it knows of no other specific reason for the share price movement. Starvest says it remains positive on the outlook for Greatland Gold which is advancing the Havieron gold-copper project with joint venture partner Newcrest Mining Ltd.

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Greatland Gold - precious and base metals exploration and development company - Reports results of the first three drill holes completed at its Scallywag licence. Exploration work at Scallywag is focussed on the discovery of intrusion related gold-copper deposits such as Havieron, Telfer and Winu. Greatland says it has completed seven drill holes at Scallywag in the second half of 2020, testing targets at the Kraken, London and Blackbeard prospects. Assay results have been received for the first three holes. The results suggest the holes have intersected prospective target lithologies and pathfinder element anomalism associated with quartz-pyrite vein arrays. In addition, ongoing geological interpretation assisted by drill information and regional aeromagnetics has identified a new target within the Scallywag licence named 'Teach'. Follow up drilling is planned during the 2021 field season to test for further development of brecciated and mineralised lithologies, in particular along strike at the newly defined 'Teach' target.

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FastForward Innovations Ltd - investment company - Notes announcement concerning investee companies EMMAC Life Sciences and Yooma Corp. FastForward has a 2.3% interest in the issued stock of EMMAC and an 11% interest in the issued stock of Yooma. EMMAC and Yooma entered into a licensing agreement whereby Yooma will license EMMAC's wellness brands, including Blossom, MYO, Hello Joya and What the Hemp. Under the terms of the agreement, Yooma will have exclusive rights for the distribution and sale of the EMMAC Brands in China, Japan, Taiwan and Australia as well as non-exclusive distribution rights in certain other global markets.

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Xtract Resources PLC - metals and minerals producer - Provides further news regarding progress of the first hole in the phase one diamond drilling programme at the Racecourse mineral resource on the Bushranger copper-gold exploration project located in the Lachlan Fold belt, New South Wales, Australia. Xtract says drilling of the first of three planned holes has continued to 1,089 metres in angled drill hole BRDD-20-001. Copper mineralisation was first noted at a depth of 110 metres and the hole has been mineralised continuously over a 940 metres interval to 1,050 metres depth, 235 metres past the original planned finishing depth of the hole. The company says the hole will be extended further to test for possible pick-up in copper grades but will be stopped if significant additional mineralisation is not encountered. The results of this hole will be assessed in the coming days and will feed into planning for the next holes of the programme.

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Gunsynd PLC - investment company - Says investee company Eagle Mountain Mining Ltd has announced drilling results from its 2020 programme at its 80% owned Oracle Ridge mine project in Arizona, US. Assay results have been received from holes WT-20-12, WT-20-13, WT-20-14 and WT-20-15. Eagle Mountain has recently commenced its 2021 drilling programme having completed the first drill hole of 2021 with the second drill hole underway. Eagle Mountain has informed the market that zones of mineralisation continue to be logged in the 2021 drill core outside the existing mineral resource estimate.

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Shanta Gold Ltd - gold mining company - Reports total group-wide reserves of 625,000 ounces across the company's two projects in Tanzania. Total resources of 3.2 million ounces reported across all three projects in Tanzania and Kenya. Shanta Gold says net reserves increased by 37,000 ounces in 2020, after depletion from production during the year and resource optimization. "Drilling is currently ongoing at all three of Shanta's assets, including at our West Kenya project where a second rig is now operational. We look forward to sharing interim drilling results from West Kenya in March," says Chief Executive Eric Zurrin.

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Predator Oil & Gas Holdings PLC - Jersey-based oil & gas company with operations in Trinidad, Morocco and Ireland - Reports results of its Pilot CO2 EOR project in the Inniss-Trinity field onshore Trinidad. The Pilot CO2 EOR programme is designed to demonstrate safe injection of anthropogenic CO2. The objectives of the Pilot CO2 EOR have been successfully achieved, despite the unforeseen Covid-19 pandemic, the company says. During the period of the Pilot CO2 EOR operations, the commercial model has been strengthened by optimising operating costs, the rise in oil price to USD53.02 per barrel on January 15 from USD30.74 per barrel on May 18, 2020.

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Cora Gold Ltd - West African focused gold company - Reports further drill results on both the Dako II permit contiguous with its flagship Sanankoro gold project and the Tagan permit adjacent to the north of the Hummingbird Resources PLC's Yanfolila mine, in southern Mali. The Dako II drilling, which lies immediately to the south of Sanankoro, builds on the discovery made there last year. The Tagan drilling is the follow-up of a small rotary air blast programme drilled June 2019. Upon completion of Dako II, the rig moved to drill a short RAB-style air core programme on the Tagan permit in Cora Gold's Yanfolila North project. "We are delighted to have followed up last year's discovery at Dako II with further promising results," says Chief Executive Bert Monro.

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President Energy PLC - energy company - Says four well committed drilling programme in Argentina to commence by end March in Rio Negro Province. Three of these wells will target the Centenario formation in the Las Bases Concession and are expected to cost circa USD1.3 million each with a drilling time of 14 days per well. This price includes a mini hydraulic stimulation subject to results of logging. The company also says planning is in progress for potentially drilling and 3D seismic data acquisition in the second half at the Puesto Guardian Concession, Salta, Argentina.

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Tirupati Graphite PLC - graphite producer - Says government of Odisha allotted prime industrial land in Bhubaneswar, which is a significant milestone in the advancement and development of its state-of-the-art graphene and technology centre, with detailed construction planning, equipment sourcing, and recruitment initiatives also progressing. The company says it is focused on further optimisation of the material properties of its zero-chemical graphene products, which is likely to further enhance the use and compatibility of the material in various graphene enhanced applications being developed.

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Helium One Group Ltd - helium producer - Saays work has commenced to mobilise surface geochemical exploration at the Eyasi project in southern Tanzania. Surface exploration work to commence at the 804 square kilometres Eyasi project, 600 kilometres to the north of the Rukwa project. The company says Eyasi project has numerous geological similarities to the Rukwa project showing potential to host a helium deposit. Fieldwork will focus on evaluating historic seep locations as well as identifying potential new seep locations at the southern end of the project area. "The Eyasi project has potential to add significant volume to Helium One's prospective resource base. The project is not as advanced in its exploration as the Rukwa project, however high-grade helium has been measured at surface and structural leads identified," says Chief Executive David Minchin.

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Kropz PLC - African phosphate explorer and developer - Says it has been notified that the hearing against Elandsfontein's valid integrated water use licence has been rescheduled for four days, commencing on February 1. The Tribunal will be resumed following a postponement in March 2020, ordered by the Chairperson of the Tribunal, following Covid-19 concerns. Kropz says it will not be providing further comment on the official proceedings until the Tribunal has announced its decision. The timing of the decision is currently unknown.

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Agronomics Ltd - meat producer - Says portfolio company BlueNalu has now closed its USD60 million debt financing in the form of convertible promissory notes from new and existing investors. Agronomics currently holds 192,005 shares of BlueNalu. Agronomics says its convertible promissory notes, and all other convertible promissory notes raised in this round, will convert at a qualified financing, being an equity fundraise of USD50 million or greater. Assuming a qualified financing occurs at a price equal to the agreed valuation cap of the convertible promissory notes, Agronomics will have an equity interest of 5.9% of issued shares following conversion and would value Agronomics' position at GBP13.4 million.

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By Evelina Grecenko; evelinagrecenko@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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