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Share Price: 390.50
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Change: 13.50 (3.58%)
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TRADING UPDATES: essensys loss widens; Fidelity Asian outperforms

Thu, 21st Apr 2022 22:07

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

Schroder UK Public Private Trust PLC - London-based investment company focused on UK companies - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 48.08 pence, rising from 35.00p at same point year prior. Says performance primarily driven by the successful initial public offering Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which resulted in fair value gain of GBP104.6 million, as well as the sales of Inivata, Kuur Therapeutics and the IPO of Immunocore. Seeks to widen investment policy, broadening its existing investment focus beyond UK companies. Will continue to focus on direct investment and co-investments in the venture/growth space where we see strong potential returns. Wants 75% of the portfolio to be in private equity, with around 25% in public equities.

NB Global Monthly Income Fund Ltd - invests in traditional credit, such as bonds and loans, and in alternative credit, such as distressed credit, collateralized loan obligations, mezzanine debt, and club loan transactions - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at GBP0.9429 versus GBP0.9394 at same point the year prior. Declares annual dividend of 4.68p, rising from 3.90p in 2020. NAV total return in 2021 was 5.9%. Chair Rupert Dorey says: "Your board believes that the current annualized dividend yield of 5.27% as at December 31, 2021, on the company's shares at the current share price is attractive on a risk-adjusted basis given the current low interest rate environment and considering the prudent investment approach taken by the investment manager. The board is targeting increased dividends for 2022, currently 0.415 pence per month, equivalent to 4.98p per share for the year. We believe the company continues to offer a favourable risk-adjusted total return and is confident with the investment manager's performance to date in executing the revised strategy."

Gulf Investment Fund PLC - invests in companies in Gulf Cooperation Council countries - Net asset value per share rises 13.9% in March-quarter, while the fund's benchmark, the S&P GCC total return index, rose 16.8%. "GIF underperformed its benchmark by 2.9% as the fund was underweight Saudi petrochemical and mining sectors which outperformed significantly. Additionally, the fund was overweight Dubai which rose 10.3%, underperforming the benchmark. The fund continues to be overweight Qatar, which has started to show results, with Qatar up 16.4% in the quarter," it explains.

RM Infrastructure Income PLC - invests in loans to infrastructure assets - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 94.41 pence, rising from 93.26p at same point year prior. Total annual return advances to 7.6% from 3.1%. Declares annual dividend of 6.5p, continuing track record of having met or exceeded dividend target since IPO. New loans and further drawdowns from existing facilities totalled GBP29.7 million during the year with repayments & divestments totalling GBP39.7 million. Portfolio ends 2021 with gross assets of GBP130.8 million invested across 34 loans, 12 sectors and 16 sub-sectors. Chair Norman Crighton says: "We remain confident we can deliver triple bottom line returns to our investors: stable economic returns combined with a tangible positive impact for people and planet."

Blackfinch Spring VCT PLC - Gloucester-based venture capital trust interested in technology businesses - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 93.08 pence, slipping from 94.08p at the same point the year prior. "The company has made excellent progress towards its objectives over the last year. With strong inflows from the current offer as we head into 2022, good overall growth across the portfolio, and an exciting pipeline of innovative new technology-enabled businesses seeking investment, the overall prospects for the next year are positive," company says.

Octopus Titan VCT PLC - investment firm - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 105.7 pence, rising from 97.0p at same point prior year. NAV total return jumps to 20.3% from 7.1% year before. Declares annual dividend of 11p. "In addition to proceeds received from our fundraise, Titan benefitted from seven profitable exits in the year including Depop being acquired by Etsy for USD1.625 billion and WaveOptics being sold to SNAP for over USD500 million. Collectively, the seven companies received investment of GBP48 million from Titan and the combined realised consideration totalled GBP237 million," company explains.

Fidelity Asian Values PLC - provides equity exposure to Asian businesses considered mispriced - Net asset value per share ends January 31 at 499.63 pence, rising from 497.50p at the end of June. Notes benchmark, the MSCI All Countries Asia ex Japan Small Cap Index, fell by 1.0% over same time period. "The company continues to own a portfolio of businesses which are dominant in their industries, earn good returns on capital and have attractive valuations," company says. Portfolio Manager Nitin Bajaj says: "One of the major recent features of the investment landscape across Asia has been the material outperformance of small-cap companies relative to large-cap companies. This has been true during the six month period to 31 January 2022, but the trend really started to take root in March 2020 and looks like a partial mean reversion from what happened between 2016 and 2019 when large-cap companies significantly outperformed small-cap companies."

Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC - investment trust - Net asset value per share ends January 31 at 652.60 pence, rising from 565.76p at same point year prior. Declares annual dividend of 22.80p, up from 19.32p year before. Total return in year was 18.8%, outperforming benchmark, which gained 15.1%. Notes change of benchmark to Numis Smaller Companies + AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index.

Drumz PLC - London-based investment company - Reports on Wednesday, pretax loss in 2021 narrows to GBP422,000 from GBP757,000 loss in 2020. Loss on investments reduces to GBP183,000 from GBP608,000. "There are opportunities for significant growth in value over the next 12 months within the existing portfolio and potentially with new acquisitions and investments," Chief Executive Angus Forrest says. Focused on developing the business of cybersecurity software firm Acuity Risk Management Ltd.

BMO Commercial Property Trust Ltd - company which invests in UK commercial properties - Reports on Wednesday, net asset value per share ends 2021 at 135.1 pence, rising from 117.5p at same point year prior. Ups annual dividend by 7.1% to 4.25p. Chair Paul Marcuse says: "During 2021 we continued to progress the active asset management of the portfolio with some notable successes during the year especially in the industrial and logistics sector where we completed the renewal of the company's two largest lease expiries for the year. We also managed to reduce our void rate from the previous low of 2020 of 2.9 per cent to a new historical low of 2.0%."

essensys PLC - London-based software and cloud services for flexible workspace industry - Pretax loss in six months to January 2022 widens to GBP4.5 million from GBP1.4 million in same period year prior. Revenue improves to GBP10.9 million from GBP10.6 million, as recurring revenue grows to GBP9.9 million from GBP9.6 million. Continues to expect to meet full-year 2022 consensus market expectations and remains confident in the longer-term structural growth opportunity. Chief Executive Mark Furness says: "essensys performed resiliently in the first half of our financial year with 3% revenue growth driven by continued strong growth in the US. As outlined in March, whilst Covid-19 temporarily slowed our hiring plans, sales cycles and our accelerated growth plans we've made excellent progress in product and development and in the strengthening of the senior executive team. We have seen customer activity begin to increase in the second half of the year and remain confident of meeting FY22 consensus market expectations. I am also pleased to report excellent progress in APAC following the establishment of our regional operations at the start of FY22 with sales pipeline now building strongly."

LBG Media PLC - Manchester-based digital media and youth content publisher, also known as LADbible - Pretax profit in 2021 doubles to GBP8.1 million from GBP4.1 million in 2020. Revenue surges 81% to GBP54.5 million from GBP30.2 million. Notes global audience grew by 31 million people to over 264 million, with 63 billion content views per annum, up 97% on the prior year. "At this early stage of 2022, year to date performance is in line with market expectations and the group remains on track to deliver against revenue growth expectations for the full year. As with prior years, revenue and Ebitda are affected by seasonality in advertising spend," company says.

RWS Holdings PLC - Buckinghamshire, England-based technology-enabled language services provider - Confirms not received any offer from Baring Private Equity Asia Fund. Baring PE Asia earlier Thursday says it is in preliminary stages of considering a possible offer for RWS. Baring PE Asia now has until May 19 to make offer or walk away.

Integrated Diagnostics Holdings PLC - consumer healthcare firm with operations in Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and Nigeria - Net profit in 2021 rises to EGP1.5 million, about USD800,000, from EGP609,000 in 2020. Revenue almost doubles to EGP5.2 million from EGP2.7 million. Due to "outstanding" performance, recommences dividend, declaring EGP2.17 per share. Patients grows 45% year on year to 10,317, and tests rises 24% to 33,659. Chief Executive Officer Hend El-Sherbini says: "2021 was an exceptional year for IDH which saw our 5,000 employees serve more than 10 million patients and perform more tests than ever before, helping us deliver outstanding financial results. In parallel, we added new services to our roster, expanded our reach across both digital and physical channels, enhanced the overall experience of our patients, grew our footprint, and completed our dual-listing on the Egyptian Exchange, complementing our LSE listing. This saw us end the year having built new foundations on which to drive the next phase of growth across all our markets."

Zenova Group PLC - Brentwood, England-based fire safety and thermal insulation products provider - Pretax loss in year to November 30 widens to GBP1.1 million from GBP77,000 in same period year prior. Administrative expenses rises to GBP1.1 million from GBP77,000. Does not generate revenue in either period. Says costs arise from costs of research and development, testing and certification, staff cost, and professional fees as it "establishes its position in the market". Company was incorporated on May 14, 2021 and acquired the entire share capital of Zenova Ltd on May 20.

Churchill China PLC - ceramic products maker - Revenue for 2021 jumps to GB60.8 million from GBP36.4 million in 2020, while pretax profit rises to GBP6.0 million from just GBP91,000. "The second half of 2021 saw a strong recovery in our sales to the Hospitality market such that the full-year results are ahead of our expectations," says Chair Alan McWalter.

Card Factory PLC - greeting cards retailer - Says it has successfully completed a refinancing, removing a commitment to raise funds. Card Factory has agreed revised terms on reduced facilities of GBP150 million, previously GBP225 million. As part of this, Card Factory will reduce its government-backed Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme element to GBP20 million from the original GBP50 million. Restrictions on dividends will continue to apply until the CLBILS facilities and the GBP11.3 million term loan are repaid, which is expected in January 2024, subject to the leverage ratio being 1.5 times or less. "The best efforts commitment given by Card Factory to its banks, to raise net equity proceeds of GBP70 million by 30 July 2022 has been removed from the revised facilities. The board has no current intention of completing an equity raise," it adds.

Safestyle UK PLC - Bradford, England-based PVCu double-glazed windows provider - Improves to GBP6.0 million pretax profit in 2021 from GBP6.2 million loss in 2020. Revenue surges to GBP143.3 million from GBP113.2 million, and is up from GBP126.2 million in 2019. Chief Executive Mike Gallacher says: "Despite the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic as well as the widely-documented supply chain and inflationary pressures, I am delighted we have been able to deliver our best financial performance since 2017 and make significant progress against our stated strategic objectives." Notes record order book will allow for "smooth" transition from any short term slowing of demand.

Homeserve PLC - Walsall, England-based home repairs and improvements - Enters talks with Brookfield Infrastructure over potential offer. Notes it has received a number of proposals from Brookfield. "The board has carefully considered the proposals, which are subject to a number of conditions," it explains. Brookfield has until May 19 to make firm offer, which has been extended from April 21 as the pair enter discussions.

Serica Energy PLC - gas producer in UK North Sea - Pretax profit in 2021 surges to GBP135.1 million from GBP12.5 million in 2020. Sales revenue jumps to GBP514.1 million from GBP125.6 million year prior. Chief Executive Mitch Flegg says: "2021 was an outstanding year of progress for Serica, which demonstrated the value of our through-cycle investment strategy resulting in the R3 and Columbus projects reaching first production. This increases Serica's gas output to over 85% of our total production, further increasing our contribution to the provision of vital lower carbon gas to the UK's energy market." Records average net production of 22,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from 23,800 in 2020, but sales price rises to USD93 from USD20.

Hamak Gold Ltd - gold exploration firm focused on Liberia - Sees positive gold and multi-element exploration results from the first grid block soil sampling in the Gozohn licence. Finds rock chip sample of 2.56 grammes per tonne gold centred on a 1.5 kilometre long gold in soil anomaly on the western limb of the Mt Koklun Greenstone belt on the northwest part of the licence. Executive Director Karl Smithson "highly encouraged" by first soil sampling results.

By Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2022 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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