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TRADING UPDATES: NewRiver watchdog blow; Vianet eyes resuming payouts

Wed, 27th Oct 2021 17:58

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

NewRiver REIT PLC - real estate investment trust focused on UK retail and leisure assets - UK watchdog says sale of NewRiver's pub business could be referred to a phase two probe. NewRiver in July announced sale of Hawthorn Leisure REIT Ltd to Admiral Taverns for GBP222.3 million in cash. Hawthorn owns 674 pubs across Britain. Competition & Markets Authority says deal to go to phase 2 investigation "unless the parties offer an acceptable undertaking to address these competition concerns".

Vianet Group PLC - Stockton-on-Tees, England provider of retail sales and volume monitoring systems - Says easing of virus curbs has benefitted Smart Machines real time monitoring and data insights division. "Almost all our clients are now fully operational, and this has resulted in a strong rebound in revenues," Vianet says. Says group revenue in first half ended September 30 up 55% to GBP6.3 million from GBP4.1 million, but down from GBP8.4 million from two years earlier. Says revenue "slightly above our expectations for the first six months of the year given restrictions ran late into the period and our supply chain costs were marginally higher." Eyes resuming dividend payments. Vianet adds: "Subject to no further lockdowns or restrictions on the hospitality sector and no deterioration of semi-conductor supply, we expect H2 cash generation will enable the board to reinstate a dividend in July for FY2022."

MJ Hudson Group PLC - London-based service provider to asset management industry - Launches ESG Advantage, a solution which allows investors to see how their investments measure up to environmental, social, and governance standards. "Institutional investors, fund managers and portfolio company management teams must comply with challenging regulatory requirements and satisfy increasing scrutiny on ESG and sustainability. ESG regulations are often complex, constituting thousands of pages of rules, making it extremely difficult to meet the deadlines set. The amount of data that must be collected and the number of disclosures that must be made continue to grow," MJ Hudson says.

Microsaic Systems PLC - Surrey, England-based mass spectrometry instruments for pharmaceutical industry - Rolls out compact mass spectrometry technology designed for use in scale-up and operation of drug manufacturing. "These monitoring solutions are targeted at contract research and manufacturing organisations, integration partners and biopharmaceutical companies who manufacture vaccines, therapeutics for major diseases such as chronic autoimmune diseases," Microsaic says. Says offering can reduce costs and time of manufacturing scale-up.

Cap-XX Ltd - New South Wales, Australia-headquartered manufacturer of ultra-thin prismatic and cylindrical supercapacitors - Says new factory in Sydney, Australia comes out of four-month Covid-19 lockdown. Says first quarter sales up 25% year-on-year. "The sales order book remains strong, and the company remains on track to meet market expectations. Demand from customers for products made at Seven Hills continues to grow, as more former Murata customers place orders especially as their stocks prior to Murata's exit are running down. We remain confident that over 75% by value of these former Murata's customers will be retained," Cap-XX says.

Barkby Group PLC - Abingdon, England-headquartered company with businesses in real estate, consumer & hospitality and life sciences - Says pub business had record quarter in three months ended September 30, benefitting from staycations. Like-for-like sales at unit rose 22% compared to third quarter of 2019. Executive Chair Charles Dickson adds: "Activity within the property development business has continued to recover with nine agreements to lease exchanged or in legals across three commercial development schemes. Following the recent completion of the purchase of the former Quest Motor dealership in Maldon, our development pipeline now stands at approximately GBP43 million of gross development value, either legally contracted or in legals." Expects revenue of around GBP11.0 million in 2021, rising from GBP7.8 million in 2020.

Cloudbreak Discovery PLC - Vancouver, Canada-based natural resource project generator - Enters deal with Moonbound Mining Ltd at Yak gold project in British Columbia. Moonbound to issue Cloudbreak 2.7 million shares and make cash payments to Cloudbreak of CAD145,000, about GBP85,592, over a three-year period. Moonbound to spend up to CAD700,000 in exploration expenditure at Yak, with at least CAD150,000 to be spent before second anniversary of a Moonbound listing on an exchange. "As a condition of the agreement, Moonbound is obliged to enter into a public transaction within six months of the effective date of the agreement with Cloudbreak," Cloudbreak adds. Once these option agreement obligations are sealed, Cloudbreak will transfer Yak ownership to Moonbound, but retain a 2% net smelter royalty. Moonbound has option to purchase half of royalty for CAD150,000.

Metal Tiger PLC - investor in natural resource opportunities - Says investee Sandfire Resources Ltd working towards sealing sealing buy of MATSA Mining Complex in Spain. Says key foreign direct investment approvals submitted to Spanish government. "Final USD200 million deposit paid into escrow pending completion, following payment of the initial USD100 million deposit on signing, which has also been transferred into escrow by the vendors," Metal Tiger adds.

Castillo Copper Ltd - Perth, Australia-based exploration company - Says geology team will take field trip to Picasso lithium project in Australia. Will "verify if known/newly discovered pegmatites host lithium mineralisation". Cadence Minerals PLC notes announcement.

Phoenix Copper Ltd - British Virgin Islands-based base and precious metals production and exploration company - Enters into deal with Honolulu Copper Corp and Mackay LLC to buy part of 2.5% royalty payable to the duo, and also Honolulu Copper's mining claims at Empire mine in Idaho. "Phoenix has acquired 1.25% of the royalty payable to Honolulu, including Honolulu's underlying patented and unpatented mining claims and 1% of the royalty payable to Mackay, for a total consideration of USD1.3 million payable in cash," company says. Says USD550,000 paid, USD750,000 is payable in three instalments due at ends of 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Phoenix adds: "Following the acquisition of the royalty, Konnex Resources Inc, the company's 80% owned Idaho registered subsidiary and operator of the Empire Mine, will pay a 1.25% royalty to Honolulu plus a 1.25% royalty to Phoenix, or a 1.5% royalty to Mackay plus a 1% royalty to Phoenix, based on the order in which the respective claim blocks are mined."

Atalaya Mining PLC - Cyprus-based copper ore company - Maiden dividend and future payout policy approved. "Consistent with its strategy to create and deliver shareholder value, the company has approved a dividend policy that will make an annual payout of between 30% and 50% of free cash flow generated during the applicable financial year," Atalaya says. Policy takes effect in financial 2022. Declares USD0.395 dividend for none months ended September 30.

Ariana Resources PLC - exploration firm with interests in Europe - Notes several "significant" gold and zinc intercepts at Kokkinoyia Sector of the magellan project. Project is owned by Venus Minerals Ltd. Ariana is looking to earn-in to 50% of Venus by the end of October 2021.

Union Jack Oil PLC - UK-focused onshore hydrocarbon production, development and exploration company - Says USD1.0 million generated to Union Jack from Wressle hydrocarbon development, North Lincolnshire. Union Jack holds 40% interest. "The net revenues exceeding USD1,000,000 within a relatively short timeframe is financially transformational for Union Jack," Executive Chair David Bramhill says. "Our acquisition of further interests in Wressle over the last couple of years from just 8.33% to being the major equity holder with 40% is now showing material results and gives us increased confidence that the company is set to deliver on its aim to become a self-sustainable entity in due course."

Kazera Global PLC - diamonds and rare earths explorer in South Africa and Namibia - Announces new loan facility with with RiverFort Global Opportunities PCC Ltd and Align Research Ltd. Company would be able to draw down up to GBP250,000 over next six months. Says drawn down sums have fixed interest rate of 5% payable for the period ended April 30, 2022, and 0.5% per month thereafter until repayment date of December 31 of the same year. "The lenders may also elect to receive this interest in new ordinary shares in the capital of the company at a deemed price of 2p per share on the repayment date," Kazera says. Chair Giles Clarke and Director Nick Harrison formalise arrangements which have financed company's operations "over recent months". Kazera says arrangements made into fixed-term loan of GBP200,000, repayable at end of 2022. "Giles Clarke and Nick Harrison have also agreed that the deferred salaries owing to them of GBP127,493 will be converted into a fixed term loan repayable at the end of 2022," Kazera adds.

Power Metal Resources PLC - exploration company seeking metal discoveries in the US, Australia and Africa - Newly-established Australia arm submits two licence application covering overing 1,994 square kilometres. "Power Australia will be the host vehicle for new Australian exploration interests of Power Metal, which are being acquired to replace current interests in Australia which are the subject of planned spin-out/disposals," company says.

Yellow Cake PLC - Jersey-based investor in uranium - Raises GBP109 million through placing of 30.0 million shares at GBP3.64 each. "Once again, we received considerable demand and the success of the raise highlights the growing momentum behind investor interest in uranium. It also serves to demonstrate the key characteristics that make this a compelling time to accelerate our strategy to buy and hold uranium, driven by a combination of supply demand characteristics and the growing appreciation of the role of nuclear in our clean energy future," Chief Executive Officer Andre Liebenberg says.

Coral Products PLC - Manchester-based manufacturer and distributor of plastic injection products - Says first half has been "very strong". To report sales and pretax profit substantially ahead of prior year. In six months to October 31, 2020, Coral Products posted sales of GBP10.7 million and pretax profit of GBP541,000. Declares 0.5 pence per share interim payout having not proposed one a year earlier.

ULS Technology PLC - Thame, Oxfordshire-based online platforms for conveyancing and financial intermediary markets, including DigitalMove - Says revenue from continuing operations in six months to September 30 rises 45% yearly to GBP10.2 million. Says underlying pretax loss lower than expected at GBP1.3 million. "Demand for housing remains high and the market shows no sign of slowing particularly as interest rates remain low and employment levels high. Remortgage volumes are also on the rise as a lot of people are coming to the end of their fixed rate deals," ULS says. "The board believes that the considerable opportunity for DigitalMove to disrupt and enhance the home moving experience continues to grow, with the company well placed to develop the platform, routes to market and revenue streams."

Sumo Group PLC - Sheffield, England-based video games company - Agrees revised revolving credit facility with Clydesdale Bank PLC. Changes include facility increasing to GBP45 million from GBP30 million, extension to November 30, 2023 from November 2022 and waiver of a delisting following acquisition by Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Team17 Group PLC - Nottingham-based video game development company - Unit StoryToys working with toymakers Lego Group and comic book hero writers Marvel Entertainment for a mobile app aimed at preschoolers. "The LEGO DUPLO MARVEL app will allow preschoolers to join Spidey, Captain America, Ghost-Spider, and other heroes for learning adventures and imaginative play. Each activity will feature a play experience where kids can help their favorite Marvel hero save the day by shooting webs with Spidey and his Amazing Friends or rescuing a kitten with Captain America," Team17 says.

Duke Royalty Ltd - royalty finance company - Invests GBP4.2 million in existing royalty partner Bakhchysarai (Ireland) Ltd, to fund latest acquisition. "Duke's new capital will provide financing for BIL's third acquisition, Vantage Resources Ltd, an IT contracting and talent acquisition business that sources specialist IT professionals on medium to long-term contracts to a range of major Irish organisations," Duke Royalty says. Duke says investment increases its exposure to GBP13.6 million. Retains 30% stake.

By Eric Cunha;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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