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BUSINESS UPDATES: HSBC issues notes; discoverIE reports profit fall

Thu, 3rd Jun 2021 19:20

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

HSBC Holdings PLC - bank - Issues HKD1.50 billion - about GBP137 million - 1.55% senior unsecured notes due 2027 under its debt issuance programme.

discoverIE Group PLC - supplier of customised electronics - Reports revenue decline of 3% in the year to the end of March to GBP454.3 million, with pretax profit falling by 13% to GBP17.0 million. Despite that, the company hikes its annual payout to 10.15 pence from 2.97p. discoverIE also reports record year end order book, up 11% organically to GBP181 million. "The new financial year has started well with organic sales growth ahead of last year and the year before and continuing strong orders running ahead of sales across all territories," says Chief Executive Nick Jefferies.

4basebio UK Societas - spun out of 4basebio AG, German biotechnology company - Reports revenue growth in 2020 to GBP462,000 from GBP202,000 the year before. Pretax loss for the year, however, widens to GBP716,000 from GBP529,000 year-on-year due to jump in administrative expenses to GBP516,000 from GBP237,000 in 2019. Research & non-capitalised development expenses also rose during the year to GBP343,000 from GBP254,000.

Startup Giants PLC - company which invests in UK tech startups - Undertakes consultancy work for and provides support services to early-stage entrepreneurs, generating revenue of GBP87,461 for 2020 compared to GBP45,256 the year prior. A sharp rise in administrative costs to GBP234,477 from GBP130,807 year-on-year was largely composed of costs associated with gearing-up the support able to be provided to endorsee entrepreneurs. The operating loss coupled, with a one-off investment impairment charge and a small financing charge, resulted in an overall loss of GBP188,099 for the year versus GBP85,551 in 2019.

Braemar Shipping Services PLC - shipbroker - Reports revenue of GBP111.8 million for the year to the end of February, up from GBP117.6 million the year prior. Reported continuing pretax profit, meanwhile, grew to GBP9.5 million from GBP6.3 million year-on-year, reflecting the profit on the sale of shares held in AqualisBraemar. The company declared a dividend of 5 pence a share for the year. The outlook for Braemar for the next few years is positive.

In a separate statement, the company says it agreed on a rescheduling of deferred consideration amounts owed by Braemar in relation to its acquisition of Braemar Naves in 2017. The company also says it intends to integrate its Financial division, which was created by the acquisition, into its Shipbroking division. The restructuring will see over EUR2.9 million, which was previously due for repayment before the end of December 2022, being deferred to be paid no earlier than September 2025. In addition, a further EUR750,000 will be satisfied by the issue of new shares in three tranches between September 2021 and December 2022. "The restructuring will enable us to improve client service by developing and enhancing our specialist expertise in shipping investment and corporate finance, and will also help to further strengthen our balance sheet, positioning the group even more strongly for future growth," says Chief Executive James Gundy.

Camellia PLC - agricultural company - Reports a very strong financial position and says it believes that over the long-term demand for its agricultural produce will continue to rise. Also reports that very dry conditions across northern India and Bangladesh to date have resulted in reduced production but higher prices over the same period last year. Meanwhile, Camellia says non-agriculture businesses in the UK have had a difficult start to the year with the continuing restrictions hitting retail and food service.

Worldwide Healthcare Trust PLC - investment firm - Reports increase in net asset value per share to 3,703.0p as at the end of March compared to 2,868.9p the year before. The company's net asset value per share total return was 30% and the share price total return was 27%, significantly outperforming the company's benchmark, the MSCI World Health Care Index on a net total return, sterling adjusted basis, which rose by 16% during the year. However, the company cuts dividend to 22.0p per share versus 25.0p paid the year prior.

Triple Point Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Co PLC - investment firm - Declares a dividend of 2.0 pence per share in respect of the period from admission in October 2020 to the end of March 2021. "Since launch we have been busy implementing our strategy by identifying, investigating, and investing in Energy Efficiency Projects in the UK," says Chair John Roberts. The company reports net asset value per share as at March 31 of 97.49p.

JPMorgan European Investment Trust PLC - investment firm - Reports the dividend paid per growth share for the year to the end of March was 4.45p, lower than 8.85p a year ago. Share price at the financial year-end stood at 326.0p, representing a yield of 1.4%. The reduction of the growth share dividend reflects the decline in dividend income, the company explains. The dividend paid per Income share was unchanged at 6.70p. Net asset value per Income share was 167.1p at the end of March, up from 126.5p the year before. Net asset value per Growth share grew to 379.2p from 274.3p year-on-year.

Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust PLC - investment firm - Says, over the six months to April 30, its net asset value per share increased by 25% while the comparative index increased by 30%. Net asset value per share rose to 349.49p from 279.90p year-on-year. No dividend was recommended.

Adriatic Metals PLC - mineral exploration company - Receives the urban planning permit for the Rupice underground deposit from the Bosnian Federal Ministry of Spatial Planning. Receipt of the Rupice deposit urban planning permit is a major milestone towards completing the Vares project's permitting requirements, the company notes.

JKX Oil & Gas PLC - exploration and production company - Says IG149, a new well drilled in the Ignativske field in Ukraine, started production on May 21. The well has averaged 777 barrels per day of oil and 80 million cubic meters daily of gas with a wellhead pressure of 1,139 psi over the first ten days of testing. The company says further testing will be carried out to determine the optimum choke setting to maximise oil recovery.

Contango Holdings PLC - natural resource development company - Reports recent work undertaken at the Garalo-Ntiela gold project area in southern Mali. The work programme was designed to assist in the company's focus of fast tracking the project into production by the end of 2021. The company notes that most of the exploration activities have centred on the Garalo permit, which has demonstrated potential for a 2 million ounces resource. However, work on the more recently acquired Ntiela concession, has also continued to yield encouraging results with the intersection of two major structures.

Kavango Resources PLC - exploration company - Reports that extensive copper/silver targets have been identified on prospecting licences 082/2018 and 083/2018 in the Kalahari copper belt. The two licences are held in a joint venture farm-in with LVR GeoExplorers Ltd. Kavango says drilling expected in the third quarter, on award of environmental management plan.

Tertiary Minerals PLC - mineral exploration and development company - Says assay results from a recent trenching programme show a thick zone of open-ended silver mineralisation in Trench No1 at the North Ruth soil anomaly on the Pyramid gold-silver project in Nevada, US. "This is a very exciting discovery, and the result of systematic exploration undertaken over the past 12 months. It is now clear that the North Ruth soil anomaly reflects the presence of a wide zone of good grade in situ silver mineralisation which is at surface and within which there may be significant widths of higher grade," says Executive Chair Patrick Cheetham.

Kazera Global PLC - investment company - Says focus on securing a long-term financing solution for the company remains ongoing. Meanwhile, operational activity continues across the portfolio, with new end-users signalling interest in off-take from Tantalite Valley mine in southern Namibia.

In addition, the company says Dennis Edmonds, the director responsible for Alexander Bay activities, has been appointed as joint chief executive effective from Thursday.

Quarto Group Inc - illustrated book publishing company - Says Chief Operating Officer Ken Fund has given notice of his decision to retire with effect from December 1. Fund joined Quarto in 1999 as president & CEO of subsidiary Rockport Publishers before heading up the company's US division for many years. He was appointed COO in 2016 and joined the board as an executive director in 2018.

IG Group Holdings PLC - online trading firm - Says Non-Executive Director Lisa Pollina intends to step down on September 1.

Angus Energy PLC - oil and gas development company - Says the full GBP12 million facility required for the re-development of the Saltfleetby gas field and the drilling of the side-track well is now fully available. The company says GBP5.8 million has currently been drawn down with the balance to be drawn over the coming weeks.

Premier African Minerals Ltd - miner - Launches placing to raise GBP1.0 million before expenses at a price of 0.16 pence per new share for the definitive feasibility study at Zulu lithium project in Zimbabwe. The company said it will issue 625 million shares. "It is worth noting that this placement today represents a nominal dilution of 3.5% and is a small price to pay for retention of 100% of Zulu and the potential upside from the exclusive prospecting order," says CEO George Roach.

Cora Gold Ltd - West African focused gold exploration company - Raises GBP3.1 million before expenses through a subscription of 40.4 million new shares at a price of 7.75p each. The funds raised will principally be used for further drilling, related exploration activities and ongoing study work focussed on growing resources at the company's flagship Sanankoro gold project in southern Mali.

CyanConnode Holdings PLC - Cambridge-based developer of radio frequency mesh networks - Proposes to raise GBP3.2 million, before expenses, via a placing and subscription at a price of 9.5p a share. The issue orice represents a premium of 2.2% to the closing price on Wednesday. The net proceeds of the placing and the subscription will be used to strengthen the company's balance sheet, to increase working capital, to allow the company to continue to take advantage of its significant growth opportunities and to execute the company's growing order book and pipeline.

Mattioli Woods PLC - wealth management and employee benefit services provider - Says the broker option has been fully exercised in respect of 303,030 new shares, raising additional gross proceeds of GBP2.0 million. The broker option shares will be issued at a price of 660 pence per new share.

Thor Mining PLC - exploration and development company - Reports application of the Molyhil project as part of round 14 geophysics & drilling collaborations program. Thor Mining says it secured AUD110,000 - about GBP59,717 - from the Northern Territory Government as part of this program. Thor Mining's Molyhil project was one of eighteen successful projects to receive funding in round 14 of the exploration initiative. These funds will be applied towards drill testing recently identified magnetic targets adjacent to the mineralisation at Molyhil tungsten-molybdenum deposit. Diamond drilling program to commence in September quarter, the company says.

Pembridge Resources PLC - copper ores company - Issues convertible loan notes to a value of USD3 million to fund potential future investment opportunities. The loan notes may be converted into shares in the company at any time from June 2022 until the end of May 2023 at an exercise price of USD0.113.

BrandShield Systems PLC - cybersecurity company - Partners with audio brand Bang & Olufsen, and says it achieved removal of thousands of counterfeit listings and brand infringements from the internet. "We're thrilled to have partnered with a leading company like Bang & Olufsen to ensure its brand is protected online, safeguarding its customers and employees both now and well into the future," says BrandShield CEO & Co-Founder Yoav Keren.

Novacyt SA - clinical diagnostics company - Launches two new polymerase chain reaction assays, expanding its genesig CovidD-19 and SNPsig SARS-CoV-2 variant detection portfolios. "The addition of both of these new assays ensures that Novacyt's COVID-19 solutions remain robust and that pragmatic options are available to support both public health and private sector testing alike," says Chief Executive Graham Mullis.

Redx Pharma PLC - drug discovery and development company - Says the first subject has been dosed in a phase 1 study in healthy volunteers evaluating the company's lead fibrosis drug candidate RXC007. The primary objective of this first-in-human study is to evaluate the safety profile of this orally bioavailable, small molecule. Results from the study are expected to be available in the first half of 2022.

Renalytix AI PLC - diagnostics company - Reports results from a new utility study. The study confirmed the importance of risk assessment testing in addressing treatment ambiguity in the early stages of diabetic kidney disease and improving patient engagement and adherence. In clinical studies, KidneyIntelX has shown to accurately predict progression of diabetic kidney disease, suggesting that KidneyIntelX risk assessment could support primary care physicians in making appropriate treatment decisions and slowing or preventing diabetic kidney disease progression.

Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy - biopharmaceutical company - Reports publication of research supporting the immunotherapeutic blockade of Clever-1 to activate anti-tumour immune responses in advanced cancer patients. The research, published in Clinical Cancer Research, analyses the mode of action of bexmarilimab, both in vitro and in heavily pre-treated metastatic cancer patients from part I of Faron's ongoing phase I/II Matins study. The researchers conclude that the therapeutic blockade of Clever-1 reveals a pathway linking the innate and adaptive immune system and that targeting macrophages can promote an immune switch, converting immunologically ignorant tumours to an immune activated state, supporting further exploration of Clever-1 as an immunotherapeutic drug target.

Amryt Pharma PLC - company focussed on commercialisation of medicines - Says the US Food & Drug Administration has granted priority review for new drug application for Oleogel-S10 for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa. Oleogel-S10 is a potential treatment for the cutaneous manifestations of junctional and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and distressing genetic skin disorder affecting young children and adults.

Metal Tiger PLC - investor in mining sector - Subscribes for 12.5 million new shares in Artemis Resources Ltd at an issue price of AUD0.06 per share for a total consideration of AUD750,000, about GBP409,653. The investment forms part of a capital raise by Artemis of AUD7.0 million. The placement was met with strong demand from institutional investors. The use of the proceeds from the capital raising will be to fund exploration drilling at the Paterson and Carlow Castle gold-copper projects in the Pilbara, Western Australia, as well as for general working capital purposes.

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust PLC - investment firm - Agrees to acquire the rights to construct the Cumberhead wind farm, a 50 megawatts onshore wind farm located in South Lanarkshire, Scotland from RDC Partners LLP. Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon achieving ready-to-build status which is expected in August. The total consideration for the acquisition and the subsequent construction costs are expected to be up to GBP75 million. Construction will start shortly after completion with the wind farm expecting to be fully operational in the final quarter of 2022.

Home REIT PLC - investment trust - Acquires a further 14 separate portfolios of properties located across England for GBP47.1 million, including acquisition costs. Each of the properties is immediately income producing, the company says, and the blended net initial yield of the company's portfolio following the acquisition of the properties is ahead of expectations.

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd - energy generation company - Agrees with Remediiate UK Ltd, a developer of patented technologies that utilise waste gases to deliver algae products, to decarbonise the emissions from the Uskmouth conversion project and create an economic product. Using patented technology, Remediiate's algae plants convert CO2, alongside other damaging greenhouse gasses, and use them to produce algae. The algae produced can then be used as feedstock for food and feed production. The initial focus of the partnership is working on the development of a facility to be co-located with SIMEC's Uskmouth power station.

RA International Group PLC - remote site services provider - Secures integrated facilities management contract with the US government to provide comprehensive life support and maintenance services for the US Agency for International Developmentin one of their compounds in East Africa. These services will also be provided to the US Embassy. The contract is for an initial two-year base period, with the option for two one-year extensions. The contract value, including the option years and incentives, is USD21.5 million and will commence in June.

7digital Group PLC - music company - Says its eMusic Live joint venture will become the first music livestream platform to offer artist non-fungible tokens alongside ticketed events running on the platform. "We expect this new offer to attract other artists and bands who wish to do the same," says CEO Paul Langworthy.

Powerhouse Energy Group PLC - technology company - Orders the critical key alloy material to be used in the manufacture for the DMG advanced thermal conversion technology process. It is to be installed at the first plastic to hydrogen facility which will be located at Peel NRE's – part of Peel L&P – strategic energy and resource hub Protos in Ellesmere Port. The alloy material has the necessary high temperature corrosion resistance whilst providing the strength and lifetime durability necessary for application in the thermal conversion chamber, the company explains.

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC - pub and hotel operator - Amends the terms of the consent solicitation by agreeing to offer a fee to all eligible stockholders of 0.15% of the principal amount of the stock. The move follows announcement in mid-May when the company launched a consent solicitation in respect of the GBP6 million 11% first mortgage debenture stock due 2023 and the GBP20 million 6.9% debenture stock due 2028.

Argo Blockchain PLC - cryptocurrency miner - Says it mined 166 bitcoin compared to 163 bitcoin in April. This brings the total amount of bitcoin mined year-to-date to 716 bitcoin. Based on daily foreign exchange rates and cryptocurrency prices during the month, mining revenue in May amounted to GBP5.5 million, down from GBP6.70 million in April. At the end of May, the company held 1,108 bitcoin.

In addition, Argo says it has executed a grid interconnection agreement with the Wind Energy Transmission of Texas and American Electric Power for 200 megawatts at their Helios site in the Panhandle of Texas for its Texas mining facility. The facility is expected to connect to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid in the first quarter of 2022. Argo has also purchased two 90 megavolt amperes 345 kilovolt transformers from Pennsylvania Transformer Technology.

Also, Argo makes an investment of GBP146,000 in WonderFi Technologies Inc, a technology company. As part of the investment, Argo CEO Peter Wall has been appointed as an unpaid advisor to WonderFi.

By Evelina Grecenko;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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