Journeo travelling in the right direction

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Journeo PLC (LON:JNEO) jumped 17% to 54p after it said trading in the second half of the year had been ahead of the first half.

Shares in the information systems and transport technical services group have not recovered to pre-COVID levels – they were trading at 73p in mid-February – but completed a major part of the return journey today, adding 8p after management said it expected the company to meet market expectations for the full-year.

“The company is performing well with an improved second half, strong order book and growing pipeline of sales opportunities based upon software and services for FY21 and beyond,” said Russ Singleton, the chief executive officer of Journeo.

2.50pm: Polypipe the top mid-cap performer after raising full-year guidance

Polypipe Group PLC (LON:PLP), up 11% at 508p, was the top mid-cap performer after it lifted full-year profit guidance.

Trading in November and December has been better than expected, particularly in the housebuilding market.

The maker of plastic pipes for the residential, commercial, civil and infrastructure sectors, said it is eyeing underlying operating profit of roughly £40mln for the year, compared to the current analyst consensus range of £35mln-£37mln. Just four weeks ago, Polypipe said it expected profits to be at least £35mln.

2.00pm: Gunsynd takes punt on betting platform operator

Gunsynd PLC (LON:GUN) fell 5.8% to 2.025p after the investment firm announced it had pumped £200,010 into a betting platform operator.

The company has invested in Low 6 as part of a £1.5mln funding round in which shares were priced at £30 each.

Low 6 operates a business-to-business pool betting platform that it “white labels” to professional sports clubs.

1.10pm: Tungsten sees losses balloon as it writes down the value of OB10 acquisition

Tungsten Corporation PLC (LON:TUNG) shed 8% at 25.9p after it reported a slight drop in half-year adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) on flat revenues.

The provider of digital financial management products said adjusted EBITDA in the six months to the end of October fell to £0.8mln from £1.0mln (restated) the year before on revenues that slipped to £18.0mln from £18.2mln.

The reported loss before tax ballooned to £30.5mln from £2.4mln the year before after a non-cash goodwill impairment of £26.2mln relating mainly to the carrying value of the goodwill associated with the OB10 acquisition in 2013.

12.05pm: Market fears that AstraZeneca may have overpaid for Alexion

AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), down 6.7% at 7,612p, was the top blue-chip faller on Monday on fears it overpaid to acquire Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALXN).

AstraZeneca struck a US$39bn deal to acquire the US immunology and rare disease specialist, offering to pay Alexion shareholders US$175 per share, made up of US$60 in cash and 2.1243 American depositary shares (ADSs), which each represent one-half of one ordinary AstraZeneca share. This is a 45% premium to Alexion’s close last week.

Alexion, which has failed to attract a suitor for some time, grew revenues by 21% to US$5bn in 2019 on the back of blockbuster drugs based on its anti-complement component 5 (C5) monoclonal antibody, while it also has a pipeline of 11 molecules across more than 20 clinical-development programmes.

11.00am: MobiityOne slides after buying Malaysian money-changing company

Mobilityone Limited (LON:MBO) dipped 4.8% to 10p after it agreed to buy Tanjung Pinang Resources (TPR).

TPR’s principal business activities are to provide money-changing and remittance agent services in Malaysia.

MobilityOne is paying around £56,000 for TPR.

10.00am: Dignity parts company with two directors

Dignity PLC (LON:DTY) fell 5.8% to 684p after the funeral director’s finance director, Steve Whittern, shuffled out of the board room.

Accompanying him out the boardroom door with immediate effect will be corporate services director Richard Portman, who has also stepped down from the board 20 years after joining the company.

The announcement of the departures coincided with news that the funeral services parlour operator is looking to get the backing of its largest shareholder, Phoenix Asset Management, as it develops a “combination of compelling propositions and price points” using its current resources.

9.00am: GSTechnologies on the up after contract win; Sareum storms higher

GSTechnologies Ltd (LON:GST) has bagged a contract worth roughly US$1mln, sending its shares 19% higher to 0.16p in early deals on Monday.

Under the contract, the company’s EMS Wiring Systems subsidiary will provide two types of integrated security system.

GSTechnologies expects the contract to complete by the end of the first quarter of next year.

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR), up 29% at 1.675p, was London’s top riser after some welcome publicity in ‘Nature’, a peer-reviewed research journal.

The journal published details of a multi-centre analysis of DNA samples from patients with severe forms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including symptoms caused by the overactive inflammatory response (cytokine storm). The analysis identified TYK2 as a key causative genetic mechanism and a potential target for therapy.

The specialist drug development company, which is delivering targeted small molecule therapeutics to improve the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, said the observation is consistent with the scientific rationale supporting Sareum’s recent successful UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) grant application for its proprietary TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor, SDC-1801.

Proactive news headlines:

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) has noted that a multi-centre analysis of DNA samples from patients with severe forms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including symptoms caused by the over-active inflammatory response (cytokine storm), has identified TYK2 as a key causative genetic mechanism and a potential target for therapy. The specialist drug development company which is delivering targeted small molecule therapeutics to improve the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases said the observation, which was published online as an Accelerated Article Preview by ‘Nature’ on December 11, 2020, is consistent with the scientific rationale supporting Sareum’s recent successful UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) grant application for its proprietary TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor, SDC-1801.

Location Sciences Group PLC (LON:LSAI) said it has received a letter before action alleging false statements and potential reputational harm and financial loss from partner Blis Global. Blis, formerly known as Blis Media, has used Location Sciences’ data verification platform Verify since September 2019. Location Sciences noted that it has taken legal advice in relation to the letter and believes the claims made by Blis are baseless and that it will take all necessary action to protect the interests of the company.

Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO) said a programme of works has been approved by the authorities for initial trenching and drilling at the Elizabeth Hills mining licence. The Western Australia Mines Department has given the okay for a programme of works that covers up to 1.25 kilometres to test for new or repeat silver orebody due south of the existing deposit, and 4,000 metres (m) of drilling to target the historical resource area and to test for potential strike extensions. Field exploration will commence in mid-December and will run for several months. At the same time, Alien will carry out grid sampling of the historical mine tailings dam with the view of acquiring this from a third party.

Remote Monitored System PLC (LON:RMS) noted that it has received an update from its subsidiary, Pharm 2 Farm (P2F), saying a production line manufactured by Lemu Group has passed factory acceptance testing. The AIM-listed firm said a detailed written report is awaited and it will provide updates, including any change to the machine delivery date if any material change arises.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said COVI-VAC, an intranasal vaccine candidate for coronavirus (COVID-19), has been approved for human trials by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The pharmaceutical firm said hVIVO, part of the Open Orphan group, is working with US biotech group Codagenix Inc to conduct the phase one study, which will evaluate safety and immunogenicity of a single dose of the vaccine candidate in 48 healthy young adult volunteers at hVIVO’s state-of-the-art quarantine facility in Whitechapel, East London.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC (LON:GSF) said it has had to scale back allocations of shares in its £60mln placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer after heavy demand. Applications for shares significantly exceeded £60mln, said the industrial battery investor, which has earmarked the money for new projects and capex for existing investments. Gore Street Capital, the company’s investment manager, said it had already has identified sites with a storage capacity of 1.3Gw.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc (LON:SWEL) has highlighted what it said is “regulatory progress” for cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) in the European Union, the United States and at the United Nations. In the EU, the Aquis-listed cannabis wellness firm said the European Commission (EC), the bloc’s executive branch, has concluded that CBD is not considered to be a drug within the meaning of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, following the recent ruling from the EU’s highest court.  As a consequence, the EC has confirmed that CBD qualifies as a food, and is therefore subject to EU law on the free movement of goods among member states.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) said it has signed commercial terms to supply its EarlyCDT Lung blood test to the NHS Norfolk & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. It has also inked a contract to provide the product to NHS Lung Health Check initiatives in Wessex and Yorkshire as part of the iDx-LUNG evaluation programme. And, following in-depth due diligence, the company has also been told the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has selected the EarlyCDT for Diagnostics Assessment Guidance.

Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM), the producer of speciality graphene additives, has signed a distribution agreement with ManHo Polymers. ManHo Polymers is a leading chemicals distributor in South Korea. The agreement extends Applied Graphene’s commercial focus directly into the coatings and polymers sectors across the fourth-largest coatings market in the Asia region. The UK company and ManHo Polymers have an exclusive agreement that will see the two companies collaborate on customer opportunities and introduce Applied Graphene’s (AGM’s) proprietary Genable graphene dispersions technology into the South Korean coatings and broader liquid resins markets.

Ergomed PLC (LON:ERGO) said it has acquired MedSource, a US-based specialist oncology and rare disease contract research specialist, in a deal worth up to US$25mln. The transaction, which sees the UK group expand its presence in the strategically important US market, will be immediately earnings enhancing. Practically, it adds 20 new clients and a US$41mln order book. MedSource’s revenues last year were US$19.3mln, while its underlying earnings (EBITDA) were US$1.3mln.

Jersey Oil and Gas PLC (LON:JOG) has highlighted the findings of a new sub-surface evaluation which has uncovered a new prospect. The prospect, named Wengen, located in Licence P2170, is position directly west of the Tweedsmuir field and has been estimated to host some 62mln barrels of potential resources (P50), with the probabilistic range set at 31mln barrels at P90 (higher confidence) and 162mln for P10 (lower confidence). Probability of geological success is seen as 22% for the prospect.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) has arranged up to US$20mln of additional funding to support its plans in Trinidad and Suriname, along with the upcoming Perseverance-1 well in The Bahamas. Through an agreement with a European alternative asset manager, it will immediately receive £7.5mln (US$10mln) through the issue of 375,000 new shares priced at 2p each. An option agreement allows it to access up to US$10mln (£7.5mln) within 10 days after the spud of Perseverance-1. Simon Potter, Bahamas Petroleum chief executive pointed out that the arrangement is consistent with the company’s overall funding strategy and provides the flexibility to continue to pursue an aggressive growth agenda at a pace determined by the company.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) has advised shareholders that a market related four-year Collective Agreement on Substantive Terms and Conditions of Employment has been concluded with the main unions represented at the Tharisa Mine, namely the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Solidarity. The agreement is effective from July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2024, and applies to employees who are subject to the bargaining units at the Tharisa Mine. Wage negotiations were mutually postponed earlier in the year during the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequently concluded. The company said the agreement underpins the ongoing stability of Tharisa’s labour relations and allows the mine to focus on growing the business for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) is accelerating plans to complete further resource drilling at its Kiziltepe mine in Turkey. A new drilling campaign of roughly 5,000 metres is scheduled to start in early 2020 to continue testing vein extensions at Arzu South, Arzu North, Banu and Derya. The company also told investors it has now published the circular regarding its proposed joint venture (JV) with Özaltin Holding A.Ş and with Proccea Construction. A general meeting to approve the transaction has been convened for December 30, 2020.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) announced that Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey will join the board as a non-executive director with effect from January 1, 2021. Baroness Young will also become a member of the board’s Nomination Committee.

Adamas Finance Asia Limited (LON:ADAM), the London quoted company focused on providing shareholders with attractive uncorrelated, risk-adjusted returns from a diversified portfolio of pan-Asian investments, has announced the appointment of PKF Littlejohn as its new auditor with immediate effect. PKF Littlejohn will replace Crowe who has formally resigned after 10 years of service. John Croft, chairman of Adamas Finance Asia Limited commented:  “We are pleased to welcome PKF as our new auditor. We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our appreciation and gratitude to Crowe for its services rendered to the  Company throughout its many years of service.”

KR1 PLC (AQSE:KR1), a leading digital asset investment company, announced that it has from Monday been admitted to the Apex Segment of the AQSE Growth Market which is intended market for larger, more established businesses and companies. George McDonaugh, managing director and co-founder of KR1, commented: “We are delighted to be one of the first members of the Apex segment and look forward to working with Aquis Stock Exchange to increase support for the market from both retail and institutional investors”.

Incanthera PLC (AQSE:INC), the specialist oncology company focused on transforming cancer treatment, announced that having met the qualifying criteria for the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange, the company is now designated as listed on the Apex market. Commenting on the changes, Tim McCarthy, Incanthera chairman, said: “We are delighted to have been designated into the new Apex market of Aquis Stock Exchange. Aquis has been an important part of the company’s development from the point of flotation in February this year. The support we have received from Aquis as one of the growth businesses on the Exchange has been extremely important to us and we applaud the team for these further initiatives to support the stocks listed on the Exchange. We expect that this will bring many benefits to Incanthera’s existing shareholders, whilst also attracting new investors to the Aquis market.”

Westmount Energy Limited (LON: WTE), the energy investment company, announced that, at its annual general meeting held on Friday, all resolutions were duly passed.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK), the aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business, has announced that its annual general meeting will be held on February 9. 2021, at 12.00pm at the offices of Travers Smith LLP, 10 Snow Hill, London, EC1A 2AL. In light of the UK Government’s public health guidelines on coronavirus (COVID-19), and in the interests of the safety and wellbeing of our shareholders, the board has taken the decision to hold the AGM as a closed meeting this year, with shareholders not permitted to attend in person. The board remains keen to maintain engagement with shareholders and, therefore, shareholders may submit questions on the business of the AGM by email to [email protected], so as to arrive by 12.00pm on February 7, 2021.

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