AVEVA off the pace after chief executive officer heads home


AVEVA Group PLC (LON:AVV) shares dived 5.0% to 3,711p after its chief executive Craig Hayman signalled his intention to quit.

Hayman will return to the US for personal reasons after the company’s annual general meeting in July following three years at the helm, with his employment formally ceasing at the end of his notice period on January 31, 2022.

The FTSE 100 firm said Peter Herweck, the current executive vice president of industrial automation at Schneider Electric, with which AVEVA merged in 2017, will be seconded on request of the board to the chief executive role effective from May 1.

Abingdon Health PLC (LON:ABDX) fell out of bed on Tuesday, shedding a third of its stock market value after a disappointing trading update.

The developer and manufacturer of rapid diagnostic tests said it was taking longer than expected to convert sales prospects to firm orders.

Given the level of uncertainty on the timing of orders for its AbC-19 test and subsequent delivery within the financial year, the board now anticipates fiscal 21 revenue will be in the range of £11.4mln to £17.0mln, with an adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) range going from a loss of £3.3mln to break-even.

12.40pm: Whitbread counts the cost of lockdowns

Whitbread PLC (LON:WTB) was 4.1% lower at 3,270p after it posted an eye-watering £1bn full-year loss on the back of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The hotels anr restaurants group expects strong demand for ‘staycations’ in the UK, where 92% of its hotels are open and leisure customers will be allowed to check-in from May 17.

In Germany 18 of its operational 30 hotels are open, with six of the temporarily closed hotels being refurbished and rebranded to Premier Inn; however, Germany has recently tightened COVID-19 restrictions again, though the hotel operator said it is “in a strong position to win market share” when demand returns.

11.45am: Blackbird flying high as directors top up their stakes

Blackbird PLC (LON:BIRD) shares were flying high at 27.45p, up 7.7%, after its chief executive officer, Ian McDonough, bought a pile of shares.

McDonough bought 300,000 shares at 29.925p, and along with his wife, he now holds around 2.49% of Blackbird’s issued ordinary share capital.

The cloud-based video editing platform also revealed that its chief financial officer, Stephen White, bought 27,194 shares at an average price of 25.685p, taking his holding up to 0.11%.

The announcement of the share purchases came a day after the company issued an upbeat trading update.

READ Blackbird says 18 more US TV stations using TownNews editing platform

10.50am: Vast Resources tops the risers as it makes progress on level 19 at Baita Plai

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), up 39% at 0.1075p, was the top riser in London after an encouraging update on its Baita Plai project.

The company said the decline project to Level 19 is progressing on schedule and the company has commenced mining fresh higher grade ore at the polymetallic mine in Romania.

Mining and concentrate production has and will continue uninterrupted during this development phase at Baita Plai, with underground production currently focused on Levels 17 & 18 in addition to the new mining area on Level 19, the company said.

9.55am: ValiRx’s quarterly cash burn running at around £350,000

ValiRx PLC (LON:VAL) hardened 5.4% to 21.62p in the wake of its full-year results announcement.

The clinical stage drug development company said its cash balance at the end of March stood at £1.5mln, versus a balance of £1.85mln at the end of 2020, implying a quarterly cash burn of £350,000.

The pre-reenue company saw its loss before tax narrow to £1.54mln in 2020 from a loss of £2.72mln in 2019.

9.05am: New leading light in the cast at Chamberlin

Chamberlin PLC (LON:CMH) saw its share price jump 12% to 9.275p after it announced changes at the top.

The specialist castings and engineering group said it has made good progress with its restructuring and as part of this process Kevin Price, currently the operations director of the group’s foundry and machining facility, will take over chief executive officer (CEO) duties.

The current CEO, Kevin Nolan, will retain responsibility for key projects and client accounts.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has been one of the more volatile stocks of 2021 and that does not look like changing anytime soon, with the shares up 7.6% this morning after another operations update.

The company told investors the findings of the analysis of sidewall cores, cuttings, mud gas and fluid samples from the Merlin-1 well are expected in the next two to ten weeks.

The oil producer detailed a series of results scheduled over the period including core photography and geological descriptions in two to three weeks, along with isotope analysis of mud gas in up to four weeks and similarly VAS for cuttings in up to four weeks.

Proactive news headlines

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) said it has “hugely increased” the number of products it can potentially produce with a new printing technique for the textile market.

Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) reported that earnings more than doubled in its full-year as the company saw its revenues boosted by orders related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

XLMedia PLC PLC (LON:XLM) said its business performed relatively well in 2020 and it expects to see a big improvement in revenues this year. 

Gaming Realms PLC (LON:GMR) said the strong momentum it enjoyed last year has continued into 2021, with the company trading marginally ahead of expectations.

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) has reported that revenues grew by a quarter during the year despite what it said was “the toughest economy in recent memory”. 

Scotgold Resources Ltd (LON:SGZ) has resolved the various outstanding technical issues that had been affecting the processing plant at the Cononish gold project in Scotland, saying the plant is now operating consistently and the current focus is on ramping up to full design capacity.

TomCo Energy PLC (LON:TOM) has announced that the Petroteq Energy oil sands plant at Asphalt Ridge is now back online in Utah, after new equipment was installed.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) told investors the findings of the analysis of sidewall cores, cuttings, mud gas and fluid samples from the Merlin-1 well are expected in the next two to ten weeks.

SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) said it has begun a collaboration with the University of Manchester to explore the use of bacteria, including its own breakthrough lysate, SkinBiotix, in oral care.

Empire Metals Ltd (LON:EEE) has begun the next phase of its exploration work at its Eclipse gold project, located 55km north-east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. 

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) gave an encouraging update on its Baita Plai project, saying it has begun mining fresh higher grade ore at the polymetallic mine in Romania and that the decline to Level 19 is progressing on schedule.

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) said it has raised £12mln in an oversubscribed fundraising that it said will primarily be used to fund the development of its lithium and gold projects in the African nations of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Chad. 

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA, LON:TILS) said its chief executive Dr Kunwar Shailubhai and the chair of its scientific advisory committee, Dr Howard Weiner, will take part in what is described as a ‘fireside chat’ at the B Riley Virtual Neuroscience Investor Conference at which they will “provide updates on the company”.  The two will present on Wednesday (April 28) from 10.30 EDT.

Emmerson PLC (LON:EML) confirmed the admission of its shares to trading on AIM after moving from London’s main market. Following the retirement of non-executive chairman Mark Connelly, direoctor James Kelly has taken up the role as of today.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) has announced that Mustang Energy PLC (LON:MUST) is acquiring an indirect interest of 11.05% in Enerox GmbH, a vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer providing grid scale and micro-grid energy storage solutions, in which Bushveld holds an indirect 25.25% stake. 

Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) has appointed Andrew Neale as general manager for the KSK copper project in Indonesia. Neale is a highly experienced metallurgist. He has worked on numerous copper and gold projects in Indonesia and globally with Freeport McMoran, Merdeka Copper Gold and Bumi Resources.

NTree International Ltd has hired Brendan Mueller as Head of Greater China to help develop its business in the region.   

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) announced the launch of a new corporate website (www.unionjackoil.com), which contains new features, including educational videos, a world oil and gas consumption meter and several other state-of-the-art aspects. “The board of Union Jack hopes that the new website will turn web searchers into visitors and those visitors into new shareholders.”


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