Prime People says business was hit hard between April and September

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Lookers PLC (LON:LOOK) returned from suspension 83% higher at 38.5p after publishing its delayed interim results.


Trading in the second half of 2020 was encouraging, underpinned by significant outperformance of the retail UK new car market, continued resilient trading in used and aftersales and increasing used car margins, Lookersa said.


The second half performance also includes the early impact of the group’s restructuring programme.


1.15pm: Argo Blockchain cranks it up


Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) shot up 26% to 91p after it cranked up its production capacity.


The company has brought 1,295 S19 and S19 pro cryptocurrency mining machines into production this week.


The machines, which were ordered in November and delivered ahead of schedule, will add around 127 petahash of computing power to its existing fleet of mining machines, bringing its total computing power to 772 petahash.


12.10pm: YouGov warns revenue will be second-half weighted this year


YouGov PLC (LON:YOU) slipped 5.0% lower to 1,040p despite saying trading is anticipated to be in line with the board’s expectations.


The research and data analytics group remains confident of achieving its full-year targets in line with the second five-year growth plan, albeit with the phasing of revenue growth and margin delivery weighted towards the second half of the financial year.


The group said its headline operating profit in the six months to the end of January was affected by an increased non-cash share-based payments charge, resulting from a modification in accounting treatment, while underlying margin continued to grow.


11.00am: Prime People says business was hit hard between April and September


Prime People PLC (LON:PRP) eased 6.3% to 56.2p after the recruitment firm reported a sharply reduced operating profit.


The group recorded an operating profit of GBP0.13mln for the six months to the end of September, versus a profit of GBP1.73mln in the preceding six months.


Revenue slumped to GBP8.66mln from GBP13.17mln in the previous six months.


9.55am: Novacyt runs into profit-taking


Novacyt SA (LON:NCYT), a stock market star of 2020, ran into profit-taking after publishing a trading update, sending the shares down 8.8% to 976p.


The clinical diagnostics specialist saw its share price go moon-bound in 2020 on the back of it having one of the world’s first approved polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19).


The pandemic certainly transformed the company’s fortunes as it saw underlying earnings (EBITDA) rise to more than EUR161mln in the second half of the year, compared to EUR49.4mln in the first half.


9.00am: Fast start for Xpediator and Bloomsbury as both companies upgrade guidance


Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) motored 25% higher to 45.5p in early trade on Friday after it had a rip-roaring end to 2020.


The freight management firm said it expects to deliver profits for the year just ended that are significantly ahead of market expectations.


Following higher than anticipated demand for its services in the UK and Europe during November and throughout December, the group now expects to report adjusted profit before tax of about GBP7.2mln for 2020, up 40% on 2019’s GBP5.15mln.


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY), up 12% to 317p, was another raising the bar after a strong performance from its Consumer division.


Revenue for the current fiscal year is expected by the board to be ahead of market expectations while profit is tipped to be “well ahead” of the current consensus forecasts.


Consensus market expectations for the year ending February 28, 2021, are currently for revenue of GBP161.8mln and profit before taxation and highlighted items of GBP12.1mln, according to data compiled by Bloomsbury.


Proactive news headlines:


Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD), the freight management firm, has said it expects to deliver profits for the year just ended that are significantly ahead of market expectations. Following higher than anticipated demand for its services in the UK and Europe during November and throughout December, the group now expects to report adjusted profit before tax of about GBP7.2mln for 2020, up 40% on 2019’s GBP5.15mln. The group said it traded well ahead of budget in the final two months of the year with strong performances from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, particularly Lithuania.


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY), the independent publisher, has raised revenue and profit expectations for the year to the end of February 2021. The company said revenue for the current fiscal year is expected to be ahead of market expectations while profit is tipped to be “well ahead” of the current consensus forecasts. The publisher said the better-than-expected performance has been driven by continued strong trading in the Consumer division, for both Adult and Children’s publishing.


Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO) said it has landed a new contract, with the company selected by an Asian telecoms company for campaign management operations. The marketing software firm described it as a recurring contract and over a three-year term said it is expected to generate US$1.0mln-US$1.2mln of revenue. The company is to provide a variety of services as well as its software product. Additionally, the company noted that it has also won additional business from an existing company. Pelatro is to provide advanced analytics to the client under the contract which is set to be a highly collaborative engagement with the client.


OPG Power Ventures PLC (LON:OPG) has said electricity demand in India is starting to recover from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it still expects to resume dividend payments this year. The coal-fired power station owner also said it will unveil a series of ESG in initiatives alongside its full-year results as criticism of the use of thermal power mounts. These plans will gradually reduce and offset carbon emissions from its Chennai plant, the group added, in recognition that a comprehensive decarbonisation strategy is critical for the company.


Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA) has said it will provide the data management platform for a pilot coronavirus (COVID-19) programme being rolled out by an unnamed Fortune 500 American professional services and construction company. The tests will be supplied and administered its partner BHA-Medical Limited with Catenae securely processing the results via its GDPR-compliant technology before sending them to the individual employees. The data will also be fed into Public Health England’s database for use by the NHS Test and Trace service.


Guild Esports PLC (LON:GILD) said it is “on track to deliver strong growth” in 2021 as it reported results covering the period prior to its flotation on the London Stock Exchange on October 2, 2020. For the period from incorporation on September 3, 2019, to September 30, 2020, the developer of esports teams said it had secured investments prior to its initial public offering totalling GBP5mln while ending the period with net cash of GBP1mln alongside a pre-tax loss of GBP2.7mln representing start-up and listing costs and its pre-revenue status. Post-period, Guild said it had raised GBP20mln through its IPO, as well as clinching its maiden sponsorship deal with contracted revenues of GBP3.6mln over three years and setting up two esports teams comprised of top-ranked video game players. The company also said as of January 28 its cash balance stood at GBP18mln.


Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) said it has brought 1,295 S19 and S19 pro cryptocurrency mining machines into production this week. The company said the machines, which were ordered in November and delivered ahead of schedule, will add around 127 petahash of computing power to its existing fleet of mining machines, bringing its total computing power to 772 petahash.


Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) said it has “significantly strengthened” its cash position which it noted will accelerate its pipeline of novel therapies for cancer and advance its vaccine candidate for coronavirus (COVID-19). In its results for the six months ended October 31, 2020, the developer of immunotherapies said it ended the period with GBP25.7mln in cash compared to GBP3.6mln in April last year, while post-period another GBP20.5mln had been raised from the issue of convertible loan notes and an open offer to shareholders. In the figures, the pre-revenue company reported a pre-tax loss for the period of GBP4.3mln compared to GBP3.08mln in the prior year.


IQGeo Group Plc (LON:IQG) has announced a large contract for software and services with a major telecoms network operator that serves more than 3.2mln customers in central and western Canada. The new customer contract has an order value to be recognised over the next two financial years of GBP1.3mln for perpetual software licences, associated implementation services, and annual maintenance and support, the group added.


ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY) said a five-year study of five circulating tumour cell (CTC) isolation platforms has identified the “key advantages” of the company’s liquid biopsy system. The group said the research showed that Parsortix’s performance was “robust”, with mean cell capture rates of 71% and 67% for the two cell types targeted. The leading US-approved antibody-based CTC system was unable to enrich one particular line, called EpCAM low cells.


Great Western Mining Corporation PLC (LON:GWMO) said a follow-up magnetic survey at its Olympic gold project in Nevada has indicated where a previous productive gold vein might lie. A strong anomaly was detected on the prospect to the west of the former OMCO mine, which stopped producing in the 1940s, and has provided enough information to start drilling, the company said. The survey also indicated a strong magnetic anomaly underneath the Trafalgar Hill target at Olympic and money for drilling in both areas is in the budget for this year subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.


Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) has provided an update on its progress ramping up production at its newly commissioned Cononish Gold and Silver Mine in Scotland, as well as its exploration activities on the Cononish Project and Grampian Project. The gold exploration and production company focused on Scotland noted that its ongoing exploration programme is focused on increasing the mineral resources in the area around the Cononish Gold and Silver Mine where first gold pour was achieved on November 30, 2020, further delineating existing prospects, and making new discoveries.


Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) has told investors it is to restructure its board and further cut costs, as it seeks to take advantage of opportunities provided by the recently sealed farm-out deal for the Ruvuma project. The company said it plans to reduce gross general and administrative costs by 30% this year plus by a further 25%-30% next year. It aims to lower these costs to below GBP1mln per year, which would equate to a 75% reduction since 2018.


Sirius Real Estate Limited (LON:SRE) said it has collected almost all rent due from its portfolio of German business parks despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the first nine months of its financial year, which ends on March 31, 2021, Sirius said it has received 97.7% of rents with 98% receipts for calendar year 2020. Write-offs had amounted to EUR205,000 out of a total rent and service charge invoicing of EUR141.2mln, Sirus added.


Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI), the UK property investment company, has announced the disposal of four properties from its portfolio. The company said it has sold retail properties at auction in Chester, Scarborough, Bedford and Llandudno for an aggregate GBP1.6mln, in line with the most recent valuations. Custodian REIT said these disposals have reduced the company’s high street retail sector weighting from 11% to 10%.


Jubilee Metals Group Plc (LON:JLP), the AIM and Altx traded metals processing company, has said it was notified on January 28, 2021, that Colin Bird, its non-executive chairperson purchased 500 000 Jubilee ordinary shares of 1p each at a price of 10.77p (223.26 rand cents) each and that Leon Coetzer, its chief executive officer purchased 500 000 ordinary shares of 1p each at a price of 10.90p (225.96 rand cents) each. Following the share purchases, Bird is interested in 500,000 Jubilee ordinary shares, representing approximately 0.022%, and Coetzer is interested in 527 810 ordinary shares, representing approximately 0.024% of the issued share capital. Coetzer commented: “Along with my Chairperson, I am pleased to be acquiring a further stake in Jubilee at this exciting stage in the Company’s development. The strong support we experience from our shareholders, institutional and retail, is an endorsement of Jubilee’s developments to date and I am very excited about the future growth and prospects of our Company.”


IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR), the African focused minerals exploration company, has announced the appointment of Amanda Harsas as its full-time company secretary, to take effect from February 1, 2021. It said Harsas is a senior finance executive with a demonstrable track record and over 20 years’ experience in strategic finance, business transformation, commercial finance, customer and supplier negotiations and capital management. Prior to joining IronRidge, she worked across several sectors including healthcare, insurance, retail and professional services. Her appointment as company secretary will run in conjunction with her new role as chief financial officer to the company, as announced on November 16, 2020, and she replaces Karl Schlobohm, who has acted as IronRidge’s company secretary since 2009. In conjunction with the appointment, the company also announced a change of registered office to Level 33, Australia Square, 264 George Street Sydney NSW 2000, Australia. The group said the Harsas appointment and change of registered office are in line with the company’s strategy to gradually migrate all management and administrative services in house, as mutually agreed with DGR Global Limited. The company noted that DGR Global intends to maintain its equity interest in IronRidge following the completion of the administrative services contract.


Galileo Resources PLC (LON:GLR) confirmed that it has issued a total of 750,000 fully paid ordinary shares in the company at a price of 0.6p per share following the exercise of warrants in terms of the placing agreement dated October 17, and 3,375,000 fully paid ordinary shares in the company at a price of 1.25p per share in terms of the placing agreement dated May 31, 2020.


Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW), the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said it has received notices to exercise warrants over a total of 11,773,926 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each, 7,563,400 warrants at an exercise price of 1.0p for and 4,210,526 warrants at an exercise price of 0.75p for. Subscription monies of GBP107,213 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.


Landore Resources Limited (LON:LND) announced that it has received a notice to exercise warrants over a total of 357,142 ordinary shares, for which funds of GBP62,499.85 have been received by the company.


Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM), the company focused on mineral exploration in Canada and Australia, has announced that a new, updated, corporate presentation is available on the company website via the Investors tab, under Presentation: www.panthermetals.co.uk


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