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TRADING UPDATES: Young's mulls asset sale; Ceres gets China investment

Wed, 19th May 2021 19:33

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



Young & Co's Brewery PLC - London-based pub operator - Confirms it has appointed Savills PLC over possible sale of Young's tenanted estate. "The company confirms that Savills has been appointed and that it is in discussions regarding a possible sale. There can be no certainty, however, that any sale will proceed," company says.



Adnams PLC - pub and brewing firm based in Suffolk - Says current trading environment "volatile" amid UK hospitality restrictions. "The sector faces many headwinds before it can say it is clear of the pandemic and its aftershocks although many commentators are beginning to discuss an expected quick rebound in the economy. It will however, come as no surprise that trading revenues in the first half of the year have continued to be severely restricted and the company has mitigated this by a continued focus on cost control, cashflows and the use of government support in the form of the Job Retention Scheme," Adnams says. Adnams notes demand has been "encouraging".



Ceres Power Holdings PLC - Horsham, West Sussex-based solid oxide fuel cell developer - Weichai Power Hong Kong International Development Co Ltd receives China approval for participation in Ceres placing. Weichai subscribes for 4.1 million new Ceres shares at 1,060 pence each. Investment totals GBP43.5 million.



SigmaRoc PLC - London-based building materials company - Says trading in first four months of 2021 tops internal expectations, despite virus. Says revenue in first quarter rose 12% like-for-like to GBP36.7 million. "The positive momentum has continued into the second quarter, with April performance demonstrating further like-for-like growth versus March and very significantly ahead of April 2020 which was severely disrupted by Covid-19," company says.



Dialight PLC - London-based industrial LED lighting - Says current trading in line with management forecasts but orders topping expectations. "Our focus will continue to be on meeting our customer needs and thereby growing our revenues. The group's outlook for the year remains unchanged," Dialight says.



Fox Marble Holdings PLC - AIM-listed company focused on marble quarrying and processing in Kosovo and the Balkans region - Adds Samuel Wordsworth, an "eminent British barrister", to legal team as chases EUR195 million claim against Republic of Kosovo. "As previously announced, we have already sourced all the required litigation funding to cover expected costs throughout the whole of the arbitration proceedings and believe the anticipated finding in the company's favour will unlock material value to shareholders," CEO Chris Gilbert says.



Safestyle UK PLC - Bradford-based retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows - Says trading in line with recently-increased market forecasts. Revenue in four months to April 30 up 51% annually and up 10% from 2019. "Alongside this revenue performance, margins have improved markedly versus both comparative periods with the group's margin-enhancing initiatives now contributing meaningfully to our financial results. This improved margin performance is after the impact of cost inflation in resin, other materials and resource-related costs as a result of the current strong demand in our sector," Safestyle says.



FireAngel Safety Technology Group PLC - Coventry-based home safety products maker - Raises GBP4.3 million in open offer. Including a GBP2.7 million placing and a further placing of GBP2.9 million, company raises GBP9.8 million.



Vertu Motors PLC - Gateshead, England-based used car dealers company - Notes recent announcement by Stellantis NV on plans to terminate current franchise dealer agreements on May 31. Stellantis owns Peugeot, Vauxhall, Citroen, DS Automobiles and Jeep brands. " The group has a strong relationship with Stellantis and performs operationally at a high level for its brands," Vertu says. "In coordination with Stellantis, the group is currently undertaking expansion of the number of outlets operated and the Board is confident that the reorganisation of the Stellantis dealer network announced will have a positive impact on the group's operations and the scale of its activities."



Pendragon PLC - car dealer and operator of Evans Halshaw and Quickco brands - Says several annual general meeting motions face sizeable opposition. Motion to approve directors' remuneration gets 58% backing, though 42% reject motion. Proposal to re-elect CEO Bill Berman rejected by 21% of investors, while motion to re-elect Non-Executive Director Mike Wright rejecred by 41%. "The company will continue to consult with shareholders to fully understand their concerns in relation to the number of votes recorded not in favour of resolutions 2, 3 and 9. An update will be provided within six months as required by the UK Corporate Governance Code," Pendragon says.



IXICO PLC - London-based data analytics company - Selected by current biopharmaceutical client to offer neuroimaging services for Phase III clinical trial. Deal is worth GBP500,000 over four years.



Knights Group Holdings PLC - legal and professional services firm - Expects revenue for year ended April 30 to top GBP100.8 million market consensus, so minimum of 36% hike from GBP74.0 million achieved in financial 2020. Underlying pretax profit tipped to be "moderately" ahead of consensus of GBP18.0 million, up 32% from prior year. "The board remains committed to a long-term progressive dividend policy, which will seek to take account of both the group's earnings growth and outlook, and its opportunities to invest in organic and acquisitive growth," company says.



Open Orphan PLC - London-based pharmaceutical services company - Receives court approval for capital reduction plans. Plans to become effective once court order is registered by Companies House. This is "expected to occur in the next few days".



Alliance Pharma PLC - pharmaceutical company based in Wiltshire - Says continuing to see "strong performances" from key brands. Chair David Cook adds: "Integration of the Biogix business and the Amberen brand into our US-based operations is progressing very well, with integration almost complete. Current trading and expectations for Amberen remain in line with our pre-acquisition forecasts." "We remain confident in our ability to weather any ongoing disruption to our business in those areas of the world which continue to be challenged by the global pandemic, and to deliver full year results in line with market expectations."



Yourgene Health PLC - Manchester, England-headquartered molecular diagnostics firm - Says to launch Middle East and Africa distribution deal with Dubai-based Alliance Global FZ LLC. Says deal expands "company's geographical footprint and its customer base". "AGBL will be focusing on Yourgene's product portfolio of non-invasive prenatal testing," company adds.



Creo Medical Group PLC - medical device company headquartered in Chepstow, Wales - Says first-quarter trading was ahead of expectations, and it now expects annual revenue 10% ahead of the market forecast of GBP20.1 million.



EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC - Cardiff-based diagnostics and central laboratory assay manufacturer - Says strong trading continues into the second quarter. As such, it is now confident trading for the full year will be comfortably ahead of already upgraded management expectations. Adds that Chief Executive Officer Julian Baines to step down with effect October 1 and will become non-executive deputy chair. Head of US arm Mike Salter to take over as CEO. " In his new role, Julian will focus on delivering further value from the company's relationship with Mount Sinai Innovation Partners. In the period to 1 October, Julian will be supporting his successor, Mike Salter, the current head of the group's US operations, who will assume the role of chief executive officer of EKF from the same date," EKF says.



Proteome Sciences PLC - drug development services provider - Issued "key" US patent. Patent award covers methods of analysis using isobaric mass tags. "This patent, which covers the TMTcalibrator workflow, enables enhanced fluid biomarker discovery and single-cell proteomics and forms part of the intellectual property exclusively licensed to Thermo Fisher Scientific by the company," Proteome says.



Renalytix AI PLC - Cardiff, Wales-based clinical diagnostics company - Teams with Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest School of Medicine for advanced clinical care model to improve kidney health. "The partnership with Renalytix enables focused population health initiatives in kidney disease and will provide real-world evidence of optimized delivery of care, improved quality of life, and reduced healthcare costs," company says.



Silence Therapeutics PLC - novel RNA therapeutics developer with offices in London and Berlin - Says trial findings on SLN124, potential treatment for iron-loading anemia conditions, showed medication was "well-tolerated with no serious or severe treatment emergent adverse events". "Notably, up to an approximate four-fold increase in average hepcidin and 50% reduction in plasma iron levels were also observed after a single dose of SLN124," company adds.



AVI Japan Opportunity Trust PLC - Japan-focused investor - Submits shareholder proposal to investee NS Solution. "While, AVI is pleased that NSSOL has taken on board its suggestions to introduce a mid-term plan and change its board structure to one with an audit committee, it is disappointed that NSSOL has rejected AVI's modest shareholder proposals," company says. Company proposed NS pays JPY62 per share final payout, for total dividend of JPY87. This was after NS planned to reduce payout to JPY52.5, from JPY65, its first dividend cut since 2009.



Litigation Capital Management Ltd - Sydney, Australia-based provider of finance for lawsuits - Enters into new litigation finance pact with collapsed construction firm Carillion. "The agreement to provide a litigation finance facility is to fund a claim in the commercial court of the High Court of Justice of England & Wales against the Carillion group's former auditors, KPMG. The claim arises from KPMG's conduct of its audits of the group's financial statements," Litigation Capital says. "The losses which form the subject matter of the claim are expected to exceed GBP250 million."



AFH Financial Group PLC - UK-based investment advice company - Says UK Financial Conduct Authority approves acquisition of AFH by Cortina Bidco Ltd, controlled by Flexpoint Ford LLC.



Ventus VCT PLC and Ventus 2 VCT PLC - venture capital trusts - Shareholders vote in favour of plans for companies to discontinue as venture capital trusts and sell assets.



Gunsynd PLC - London-based investment firm - Says investee Eagle Mountain Mining Ltd receives technical report at Oracle Ridge asset. Conclusions from report show southern extension of project "is prospective for additional copper-rich mineralisation". Also states that aeromagnetics would be a viable way in targeting copper mineralisation.



Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd - Bermuda-based firm focused on non-life legacy insurance and program management - Gets consent from Central Bank of Ireland for buy of Electric Insurance Ireland DAC, captive insurer of Electric Insurance Co.



Frontier IP Group PLC - London-based intellectual property commercialisation firm - Portfolio firm Exscientia Ltd wins deal with Bristol Myers Squibb. Duo will work on artificial intelligence-based drug discovery partnership. "The agreement includes up to USD50 million in upfront funding, up to USD125 million in near to mid-term potential milestones, and additional clinical, regulatory and commercial payments that take the potential value of the deal beyond USD1.2 billion," Exscientia says.



Atlas Mara Ltd - Sub-Saharan Africa banking investor - Completes sales of BancABC Mozambique to Access Bank Mozambique. Making progress on "key commercial terms" with creditors over debt restructuring. "The parties have further agreed to an extension of the Standstill Agreement to May 31 to finalize discussions and binding legal documentation," Atlas Mara says.



Raven Property Group Ltd - Russia-focused warehouse property investor - Plans to buyback shares through tender offer. Intends to purchase one share for every 32 held at 40p each. Maximum value of buyback is GBP7.3 million.



MetalNRG PLC - natural resources investing company - Says SRK Exploration Services, which conducted competent persons report at Gold Ridge project in Arizona, makes recommendations for how to progress project. "Following this site visit, SRK have now put forward their conclusions and recommendations. SRK considers that the mapping and sampling conducted to date supports the concept that the Gold Ridge project has the potential for the discovery of further, minable gold mineralisation and that an initial two stage programme of follow up work is warranted," MetalNRG says.



Rockfire Resources PLC - Australia-focused gold and base metal exploration company - Says 3D processing outlines drilling targets at Copper Dome porphyry project in Australia. "Two main targets have been highlighted, with both showing very strong magnetic responses, which are being interpreted as magnetite alteration - an important feature associated with many porphyry copper deposits," Rockfire says.



Tirupati Graphite PLC - graphite producer with operations in Madagascar and India - Applies for shares to be traded on OTCQX Market, to boost availability of its stock in North America.



Danakali Ltd - Colluli potash project developer - Says manufacturing for reverse osmosis plant at Colluli project, Eritrea underway. Project is a 50-50 joint venture with Eritrean National Mining Corp. Danakali Executive Chair Seamus Cornelius says: "I am very pleased to confirm that manufacturing of the RO plant is underway. Everyone involved in Colluli including our partners, ENAMCO and our shareholders want to see progress and the RO plant which will make fresh water available at site is an essential part of the Project and early works programme."



Tower Resources PLC - Africa-focused oil and gas company - Receives confirmation from Cameroon's Minister of Mines, Industry & Technological Development of formal extension of first exploration period of Thali licence. "This formal extension allows the company to proceed with finalising a schedule for drilling and testing the NJOM-3 well," Tower says.



Chesterfield Resources PLC - copper explorer focused on Cyprus - To acquire a belt scale copper exploration project, named Adeline, in Canada. Notes vendor Altius Minerals Corp to become "strategic partner and help manage the project". Chesterfield to issue Altius 10% of its stock to fund deal, with option to purchase further 10% through three-year warrant exercisable at 20 pence. Altius also allowed 1.6% gross sales royalty.



Ncondezi Energy Ltd - coal-fired power project in Mozambique - Company and partners waiting for formal feedback from Mozambique government after submitting studies at coal mine in Tete. Says engineering, procurement and construction pact with China Machinery Engineering Corp nearing completion.



European Metals Holdings Ltd - mineral exploration and development company focused on Cinovec lithium-tin project in Czech Republic - Says locked-cycle test results provide "further support" to quality of Cinovec project. "European Metals has demonstrated that Cinovec battery grade lithium carbonate can be easily converted into lithium hydroxide monohydrate with a commonly utilised liming plant process," company says. Cadence Minerals PLC, which holds 11% stake in European Metals, notes announcement.



Nostrum Oil & Gas PLC - exploration and production company operating in the Caspian Basin area in eastern Europe - Enters into second forbearance agreement with members of informal committee of noteholders. Forbearance expires on June 21. Says holders of more than 49% of aggregate principal amount of 8.0% senior notes due 2022 and more than 47% of 7.0% notes due 2025 enter into agreement.



Trans-Siberian Gold PLC - operates Asacha gold mine in Kamchatka, far east Russia - Suitor Horvik Ltd notes Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service clears buy of Trans-Siberian.



Bahamas Petroleum Co PLC - assets in Bahamas, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname - Raises GBP6.9 million from open offer. Also plans to launch placing through a bookbuild. "Details of the number of placing shares and the approximate gross proceeds of the placing will be announced as soon as practicable after the closing of the bookbuild," company says.



Amedeo Air Four Plus Ltd - investment company that buys, leases and sells aircraft - Says Thai rehabilitation plan approved by creditors. "The company, through its asset manager, will now continue to negotiate and agree binding lease amendment documentation with the airline, on a power by the hour basis initially, before moving to a fixed rate lease for the remaining term of the lease including an extension of the lease from the original term," Amedeo says. "The company continues to target June/July 2021 to document and effect the restructuring of debt with its lenders."



By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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