Byotrol PLC (LON:BYOT) jumped 13% to 6.875p after it reported a year-on-year trebling of sales in the six months to the end of September.
Sales rose to GBP6.7mln from GBP2.2mln in the same period of 2019, feeding through to an increase in adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) of GBP1.2mln from GBP0.4mln the year before.
The specialist in infection prevention has certainly had a good pandemic, which the company acknowledged but it also said it expects sales to settle at levels significantly higher than pre-COVID.
1.20pm: Bosch! Ceres surges higher
Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) surged to 1,004p, up 8.8%, as it extending its partnership with German engineering giant Bosch.
Together Ceres and Bosch are developing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems based on Ceres’s proprietary technology. Multiple sites in Germany are aiming to produce the fuel cells, with the partners targeting an initial 200 megawatts of capacity in aggregate.
Ceres said the latest collaboration deal is worth around GBP23mln to the company from 2021 to 2023, of which GBP6mln is conditional upon performance-based KPIs.
12.15pm: M&C Saatchi rises as delayed annual report provides no nasty shocks
M&C Saatchi PLC (LON:SAA) shares returned from a suspension in trading 28% higher art 73.2p after its annual report was published.
There is no change to the group’s 2019 previously announced profit, and there are no further adjustments to prior period headline profit beyond those reported in the preliminary unaudited financial statements published on September 30, 2020, the advertising agency said.
An additional non-cash, non-headline prior year adjustment of GBP2.8mln relating to 2017 and prior periods has been reported.
11.05am: IMImobile agrees to takeover by Cisco Systems
IMImobile PLC (LON:IMO), up 47% at 593p, was London’s top riser after it agreed to a US$730mln takeover by IT giant Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO).
The London-based cloud communications software specialist’s board has recommended the 595p-per-share cash offer, which compares to a previous close at 402.5p.
Cisco said its rationale for the deal is that in a world of increasing customer expectations, where businesses also compete on the quality of the interactive experience they can offer to their customers, it has a “vision” of creating “a comprehensive customer experience as a service (CXaaS) offer for customers, offering a platform to provide consistently enjoyable customer experiences”.
10.10am: QUIZ Group dives as it delays release of interims
QUIZ Group PLC (LON:QUIZ), which describes itself as an omni-channel fashion brand, dived 8.6% to 8p after it delayed publication of its interim results.
The results for the six months to the end of September, which would normally be expected to be released no later than the end of this year, will be released at the end of January 2021.
QUIZ will continue to provide trading and operational updates to the market as appropriate, the company said. Of late, these updates have mostly consisted of store closure details relating to lockdown restrictions.
9.15am: THG raises full-year guidance
THG Holdings PLC (LON:THG), the company behind The Hut Group, climbed 3.0% to 668.6p in early deals on Monday after it upgraded its full-year outlook.
The technology platform operator said it has seen new customer acquisition trends further accelerate into the fourth quarter across all its divisions, supported by very strong performances during Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Week and other spurious events concocted by cunning marketing people.
The group now expects revenue to grow by between 38% and 40% in 2020 from 2019’s level, up from previous guidance of +30% – +33%.
Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) surged 13% to 0.01p after its JOE and HER media group business deepened its relationship with sports broadcaster Premier Media Broadcasting.
JOE and HER media group, which is managed by Iconic, Greencastle Acquisition Limited and Premier, has entered into a strategic partnership with Premier that will see the UK & Ireland sports broadcaster make an equity investment into the media group, with JOE and HER to provide digital content rights across multiple sports.
This strategic partnership means that JOE and HER will become the exclusive UK and Irish digital home of the sports media rights in Premier Sports portfolio, which includes Tier 1 football and rugby properties such as Italy Serie A football league and the Pro 14 rugby union competition. The strategic partnership also provides for operational efficiencies through sharing assets including studio space and other production resources.
Proactive news headlines:
Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) has announced that the JOE and HER media group has entered into a strategic partnership with Premier Media Broadcasting Limited (Premier Sports), which will see the UK & Ireland sports broadcaster make an equity investment into the media group, with JOE and HER to provide digital content rights across multiple sports. The main market–listed company pointed out that is a landmark agreement between a digital publisher and a broadcaster to share rights and formats across both entities’ audiences. The multidivisional new media and technology business noted that the JOE and HER media group is managed by the company, Greencastle Acquisition Limited and Premier Sports.
AfriTin Mining Ltd (LON:ATM) has achieved nameplate tin concentrate production at its Uis mine in Namibia. The company completed production ramp-up for stage I of phase 1 during November 2020. Tin concentrate production totalled 63.9 tonnes for November 2020, representing a 32% month-on-month increase.
Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) has expanded its fuel cell collaboration with Bosch, moving from prototyping to preparing for mass production. Together they are developing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems based on Ceres’ proprietary technology. Multiple sites in Germany are aiming to produce the fuel cells, with the partners targeting an initial 200 megawatts of capacity in aggregate. The aim is to create systems that can be used in the stationary power market to enable decentralised power plants in cities, factories, data centres and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has signed-up a rig contractor for the proposed Merlin and Harrier exploration wells, drilling on the first of which is slated for February. The move follows Friday’s farm-out news which sees an American oil and gas consortium, Alaska Peregrine Development Company (APDC) agree to acquire 50% of Project Peregrine. In return, APDC will fund the majority of drill costs for the Merlin-1 well, located within Project Peregrine. It has committed to spending up to US$11.3mln on the project. 88 Energy today announced it had executed a rig contract All American Oilfield for the use of Rig 111 to drill the Merlin-1 and Harrier-1 wells.
Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said its Venn Life Sciences drug development subsidiary has been awarded two new contracts that start immediately. The first will see Venn’s Paris team manage the randomisation and supply management for a coronavirus (COVID-19) trial to be conducted by an unnamed European pharmaceutical company. The team in Breda, in the Netherlands, meanwhile, will deploy its expertise to deliver process improvements in clinical development for the second new client.
United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) has highlighted estimates by consultant Gaffney Cline & Associates which sees some 2.4bn barrels of potential resources in the Walton Morant licence, offshore Jamaica. It comes as the company advances a farm-out process to bring a new partner into the Walton Morant project. The prospective resource is estimated across a total of 11 prospects. Colibri, the most advanced of the prospects, is now estimated to host some 406mln barrels, up around 77% from prior estimates, meanwhile, the Thunderball prospect is another stand-out prospect with an estimated 603mln barrels.
Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) has said it is to acquire privately-owned eThink Education for an initial cash consideration of US$20mln. eThink is a North American company operating in the high-growth open-source learning management systems (LMS) market. The newly acquired company will be integrated into Learning Technologies’ (LTG’s) Open LMS business acquired in April 2020. The eThink deal follows Learning Tech’s acquisition of eCreators in September 2020 and marks a further step in the group’s strategic goal of consolidating the Moodle market – Moodle being the world’s most popular learning management system – building further complementary expertise and geographical reach into Open LMS.
Brickability Group PLC (LON:BRCK) said it has bought McCann Limited, a logistics firm that specialises in transporting building materials from factories in Europe to construction sites in the UK. The GBP1.75mln deal helps secure supply lines and reduce the risk of “Brexit-related delays to logistics and haulage” after January 1, said chief executive Alan Simpson. Brickability, a supplier of construction materials, paid GBP1.25mln upfront with the remainder being paid in three annual tranches.
BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC) said an animal feedstock producer has received a protein recovery instrument from the company’s Celitron subsidiary. The unnamed Belgian customer is focused on commercialising industrial-scale insect-based technologies to produce feedstock. It intends to use BATM’s machinery to produce insect protein powder that can be used as a substitute for fishmeal and oils used in aquaculture feed. The entry into a new market segment with the first delivery of this instrument marks a further milestone achieved by Celitron in 2020, BATM said.
Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX) has noted the presentation by portfolio company Autolus Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:AUTL) of new data highlighting positive progress on its AUTO1 programme. AUTO1 is an anti-cancer CAR T-cell therapy currently going through a phase 1 clinical trial as a treatment for relapsed/refractory adult B-Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL). In a statement, Autolus said that out of 19 patients evaluable for efficacy, 16, or 84% of the patients achieved minimum residual disease (MRD)-negative complete response (CR) at one month.
Cornish Lithium Ltd is to accelerate the Trelavour hard rock lithium project near St Austell, following the successful production of nominal battery-grade lithium hydroxide. This was achieved using proprietary L-Max and LOH-Max process technologies owned by Lepidico Ltd (ASX:LPD) on lithium mica samples obtained during the maiden hard rock lithium drilling programme earlier this year. Cornish Lithium has now acquired a technology licence from Lepidico which provides Cornish Lithium with an innovative and environmentally responsible metallurgical processing solution for the Trelavour project.
World High Life PLC (LON:LIFE) said it has significant sales growth during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In its results statement for the year to the end of June 2020, the investment company focused on the cannabidiol (CBD) health and wellness space said online sales in July were 57% higher than they were in June. The focus at its Love Hemp subsidiary is on increasing market share in the UK and continental Europe. Work is underway on a new production facility that will provide additional capacity to expand beyond Europe.
Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR) (TSE:COG) has commenced a 4,000-metre close-spaced infill diamond drilling programme within the permitted open pit at La India project, Nicaragua. The programme’s objectives are to tighten the drill hole spacing within the planned high-grade starter pits on the principal La India vein, to provide the sample density required to finalize pit designs and mine schedules ahead of production. The drilling is also targeting nearby inferred resources to upgrade to the indicated level, to include them in the mine plan.
Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has completed conditional agreements on its joint venture with Ozaltin Holding A.S and with Proccea Construction. Under the terms of this agreement, Ozaltin will be acquiring 53% of both Pontid Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S, the owner of the Salinbas project, and the existing Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. joint venture, which is currently owned by Ariana in a 50:50 partnership with Proccea. The joint venture with Ozaltin and Proccea involves the partial disposal of the interests of the company in Zenit and Pontid in exchange for US $35.75mln in cash.
Personal Group PLC (LON:PGH), a leading provider of employee services in the UK, has announced the appointment of Martin Bennett as a non-executive director from January 1, 2021. The group noted that Bennett is an experienced public company director having held several executive and non-executive roles for companies within the consumer, technology and other sectors. He currently chairs the boards of two privately-owned technology-led companies, Ventureprise PLC and Foreign Currency Direct PLC, together with the Association of Foreign Exchange and Payments Companies (AFEP), a trade body responsible for the UK payments industry. Before these appointments, Bennett held the role of chief executive officer UK of Homeserve PLC having been chief financial officer until 2012, where he led the successful strategic turnaround of Homeserve’s UK business. Mark Winlow, Personal Group’s chairman, commented: “Personal Group and its board will benefit greatly from Martin’s business and technical experience. In particular, he has led regulated businesses and held listed company positions where, amongst other roles, he was responsible for investor relations. I look forward to working with Martin in 2021.”
Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said it has received a notice to exercise warrants over 8,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 1.0p per ordinary share. The company noted that subscription monies of GBP80,000 have been received by Power Metal in respect of this exercise.
Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE), the exploration and production company focused on Georgia, has announced that an employee has exercised nil-cost options to acquire 65,415 ordinary shares of 0.25p each in the company which will be satisfied using existing shares held in the Block Energy Employee Benefit Trust (EBT). Following the exercise of these options, the remaining number of shares held by the EBT will be 37,972,141, representing 8.66% of the current total issued share capital.
W Resources PLC LON:WRES), the tungsten, tin and gold mining and exploration company with assets in Spain and Portugal, said it has received a conversion notice from Atlas Capital Markets for GBP100,000 of Convertible Bonds plus interest relating to August to November 2020, being the second conversion notice in respect of the first GBP500,000 tranche drawn from the GBP4mln facility that was first announced on March 30, 2020. The company said it will issue 96,300,548 ordinary shares of 0.1p per share at a conversion price of 0.1111p per ordinary share.
IQ-AI Ltd Ltd (LON:IQAI) said that further to its announcement dated November 9, 2020, the group has allotted 282,460 ordinary shares in IQ-AI to Mayo Clinic at 13.21p per ordinary share. The new ordinary shares were issued under the research and collaboration agreement regarding IB Trax between Mayo Clinic and Imaging Biometrics, a subsidiary of IQ-AI.
Deltic Energy PLC (LON:DELT), the AIM-quoted natural resources investing company progressing its high impact exploration and appraisal portfolio focused on the Southern and Central North Sea, said it has released a new corporate presentation. This presentation reflects recent developments, with particular focus on the award of six new licences covering twelve full and part blocks in the 32nd licensing round, announced on December 1, 2020, and the recent prospectivity update on the Licence P2428, which contains the Cupertino Area. The corporate presentation is available on the homepage at the company’s website: www.delticenergy.com
Incanthera PLC (AQSE:INC) has announced that it will report its interim results for the six months ended September 30, 2020, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The company said it will provide a live presentation of its results via the Investor Meet Company platform on Tuesday 8 December at 12.30pm GMT. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add to meet Incanthera via the following link: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/incanthera-plc/register-investor