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TRADING UPDATES: Bezant finds copper; Domino's faces CEO pay protest

Thu, 22nd Apr 2021 20:49

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



Domino's Pizza Group PLC - Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire-based pizza delivery master franchiser - Says almost 35% of shareholders vote against directors remuneration report at annual general meeting. "The resolution to approve the Directors' Remuneration Report was passed, but with a significant minority of shareholders voting against the resolution. Prior to the AGM, the board engaged with the company's major shareholders to address any questions arising from remuneration decisions taken during the year. Based on this, we understand that the principal points of concern were the annual fee of the chair and the level of base salary of the chief executive officer. The Remuneration Committee will continue to engage with shareholders to ensure that it understands their views on these issues and is able to consider shareholders' feedback," company says.



Greatland Gold PLC - precious and base metals exploration and development in Western Australia and Tasmania - Starts drilling campaign under Juri joint venture with Newcrest Mining Ltd. Drill programme underway with focus on high-priority targets within the Paterson Range East licence including Goliath, Los Diablos and Outamind. "Six months ago, we entered the Juri JV to accelerate Greatland's exploration activity and maximise the value of the Paterson Range East and Black Hills licences. The start of this programme is an important step towards achieving that goal," Chief Executive Shaun Day says.



Provident Financial PLC - Bradford, West Yorkshire non-standard lending - Notes High Court makes order allowing Consumer Credit Division to hold meeting of scheme creditors to discuss implementation of scheme. CD customers, past and present, as well as the Financial Ombudsman Service, will now have the opportunity to vote on the scheme. "PFG continues to believe that if the scheme is not successful, then CCD would have to be placed into administration or liquidation. In this scenario, CCD customers with legitimate claims would receive no redress payment," company says. Chief Executive Malcolm Le May adds: "I am pleased to report that the High Court has approved the holding of a meeting for relevant creditors to consider and vote on the Scheme. In doing so, the Court has enabled the scheme's creditors to undertake their own assessment of the benefits of the Scheme. We continue to firmly believe that a scheme offers the fairest compromise that can be offered to CCD's customers and we are working hard to deliver it successfully." The creditors' meeting will be held on July 19 and, if the scheme is approved by its creditors, the final court sanction hearing will take place on July 30.



Foxtons Group PLC - London-focused estate agent - Says over 39% of shareholders vote against approval of annual statement from the Remuneration Committee Chair and the annual report on Remuneration at annual general meeting. Also notes over 32% of shareholders voted against re-election of Alan Giles. "It is clear that a significant proportion of shareholders did not agree with the decision to pay bonuses to executives under the Bonus Banking Plan, on the basis that the company had benefited from UK government support," company says. It adds: "This is notwithstanding that discretion had been exercised to reduce bonuses that would otherwise have been earned against agreed performance conditions by 50%, a decision that was supported by the majority of voting shareholders. This resulted in a bonus for the CEO of GBP389,000, which was 33% lower than the previous year and 53% lower on a cash basis." It continued: "The new 2020 remuneration policy was designed to better align executives reward with shareholders' interests. However in light of the votes against Resolutions 2 and 6 the Remuneration Committee will review the remuneration policy and its implementation in consultation with shareholders to ensure executive remuneration drives long-term shareholder value and stakeholder interests. The committee will provide an update on this in the coming months."



Gulf Investment Fund PLC - investment firm focused on opportunities and positive fundamental factors in the Gulf Cooperation Council - Net asset value rose 5.5% in the quarter ended March 31, while the benchmark, the S&P GCC index, was up 11.9%. Pays 3 US cent per share dividend, giving company a NAV total return of 7.6%. The underperformance was attributed to the fund being underweight Saudi Arabia, the region's biggest stock market, which rose 14.0%.



Time Finance PLC - Bath, England-based finance provider to UK small & medium businesses - Says net tangible assets continue to increase month on month. At March 31, unaudited NTA was about GBP28.5 million compared to GBP26.5 million at end of May 2020. "Over the same period, the group's focus on cash generation has continued to have a positive impact on liquidity with cash and cash equivalents of over GBP6 million at March 31 compared to approximately GBP1.5 million as at May 31, 2020. These healthy cash levels are vital for future lending growth," company says. Lending book remains "robust and resilient" with pandemic-related forbearance having reduced from over GBP25 million in June 2020 to under GBP2.5 million at end of March 2021. "Most significantly, as at March 31, 2021, total arrears had fallen below the pre-Covid Levels of February 28, 2020 for the first time since the start of the pandemic," company adds.



Bezant Resources PLC - copper-gold exploration and development company - Finds further significant copper intercept in its second drill hole at the Minemba prospect within the Kalengwa exploration project area in Zambia, in which the company has a 30% interest and acts as operator. Executive Chair Colin Bird says: "We are very pleased with the 114 metre interval of continuous mineralisation. The archives did not suggest this to be the case and we are particularly encouraged by the geological sequence which is the same as in the nearby rich copper pit at Kalengwa which produced 1.9 million tonnes at 9.44% copper."



Starcrest Education The Belt & Road Ltd - Cayman Islands-based developer and operator of education services - Pretax loss in 2020 widens to GBP1.5 million from GBP1.2 million in 2019. Administrative expenses rise to GBP1.5 million from GBP1.2 million. Does not generate revenue in either year. "Since the company's admission on the London Stock Exchange Main Market, our ambition has been to seek relevant acquisition opportunities to enable the company to provide forward-thinking, value-added solutions for students, employees and societies in the 'One Belt, One Road' countries," Chair John McLean says. He adds: "The board believes that there remains significant potential for long-term growth within the international education sector and that Starcrest is well-positioned and sufficiently funded to deliver upon its strategy and to capitalise on this growth." March 31 funds totalled GBP1.1 million.



Osirium Technologies PLC - Berkshire, England-based cybersecurity firm - Proposes placing and subscription to raise minimum of GBP2.0 million. Looking to place, in two tranches, up to 3.9 million shares then 4.9 million shares at 22 pence each. Will offer 318,185 shares for subscription at same price. Net proceeds will be used to scale up its business in privileged access management and digital process automation; expand its channel partner network and accelerate its recruitment. "The placing and subscription will also enable the company to build balance sheet strength to support the next stage of its growth, which includes capitalising on its pipeline of new opportunities in both the private sector and, increasingly, the public sector," company adds.



PetroTal Corp - oil and gas development and production company focused on the development of oil assets in Peru - In three months to end of December, produces 6,410 barrels of oil per day and sales volumes averaged 5,471 bopd, compared to sales of 2,327 bopd in the third quarter. For 2020, generates revenue of USD76.6 million, down from USD82.8 million the year before, and swings to net loss of USD1.5 million from profit of USD20.2 million in 2019. "Although our 2020 results were impacted by many one-time events, the company's announcements over the last six months have been overwhelmingly positive and will underpin our growth through 2021 and beyond," says President & Chief Executive Manuel Pablo Zuniga-Pflucker.



Jadestone Energy Inc - Asia Pacific-focused oil & gas company - Reports revenue for 2020 of USD217.9 million, down from USD325.4 million in 2019, and turns to pretax loss of USD57.2 million from profit of USD73.3 million. Says fall in revenue due to decline in oil prices associated with impact of Covid-19. Full year production of 11,438 barrels per day was down 15% on 2019. For 2021, the company expects average crude production of 11,500 to 13,500 barrels per day, assuming the successful drilling of the H6 infill well at Montara, two Skua well workovers, and completion of the group's acquisition of a 69% operated interest in Maari at the end of the first half. Intends to recommend final dividend of 1.08 cents per share. "I am pleased to announce the final portion of our 2020 dividend today, as well as re-affirming our dividend policy for 2021 and beyond. We are constantly focussed on delivering value for shareholders and see both organic, and inorganic growth, as well as direct shareholder returns as key components," says President & Chief Executive Paul Blakeley.



National World PLC - investment business focused on news publishing - Pretax loss for 2020 widens to GBP1.1 million from GBP335,000 in period stretching May 29, 2019 to December 31, 2019. National World in January 2021 completed its first acquisition, JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. "In the last four months the JPI Group has been undergoing a comprehensive overhaul in line with the company's policy of Localise, Energise, Digitise, Monetise in pursuit of a sustainable news platform," company says. The acquisition of JPI provides "strong base from which to build the strategy". "As the acquisition of the JPI Group is a reverse takeover, the company anticipates the publication of a prospectus by no later than May 2021 to seek re-admission to a Standard Listing and trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange," it says.



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

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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