Alfa Financial Software raises revenue forecasts after positive first half

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Alfa Financial Software Holdings PLC (LSE:ALFA, FRA:A9F) has keyed up a healthy share price rise after reporting higher first half profits and raising it full year forecast.


The company, a developer of software for the asset finance industry, said revenues for the first six months of the year were above expectations and up 8% on the same time last year.


Operating profits rose 9%, and it has reduced its reliance on its top five customers from 55% of revenues this time last year to 43%.


It has also announced a special dividend of 10p a share taking total dividends over 12 months to 26p.


Chief executive Andrew Denton said: “Our success at converting the late stage pipeline and our strong delivery performance have led us to increase further our expectations for 2021, and we now expect to exceed previous market revenue estimates by circa 4%. An encouraging early stage pipeline and strong growth in subscription revenues give us increased confidence in next year’s performance.”


Alfa shares have added 12.7% or 20p to 177.5p.


3.01pm: Aura Energy boosted by Australian stock exchange news


Aura Energy Limited has moved sharply higher after it said its shares would come back from suspension from the Australian stock exchange after a number of months.


Aura, whose shares have continued to trade on AIM, said: “The ASX is in a position to reinstate Aura’s securities to trading on the Official List as the company has undertaken sufficient exploration on its projects in line with its proposed expenditure commitments, with the results of those exploration programs having been released to the market.”


Managing director Peter Reeve said: “With its low capital cost and short development horizon the Tiris Uranium Project remains one of the most compelling uranium development projects in the world today.


“Over the past months, Aura has undertaken and completed a number of project advancement initiatives on Tiris, well positioning the company for a strong 2022 financial year, as we fast track the Tiris Uranium Project to production.”


Aura shares have added 30.3% to 19.68p.


12.36pm: Arecor Therapeutics soars on growing optimism over its insulin product


Arecor Therapeutics PLC (AIM:AREC) has soared by nearly a third as investors continued to warm to its insulin breakthrough.


The Cambridgeshire biotech business said this week its ultra-concentrated, rapid-acting insulin formulation had hit its primary goal in a phase I clinical trial.


That news pushed its shares up sharply but today they have added another 47.67% or 143p to 443p – having touched 454p – after a positive write-up in the Daily Telegraph.


The paper drew attention to the fact that the company’s technology could mean people with type-two diabetes needing smaller doses and fewer daily injections.


It quoted analysts saying the trial showed a better outcome than their most positive expectations.


The company believes the market for its product could be worth some US$6.4bn a year.


It still needs to go through phase 2 and 3 trials but if successful it could be on the market in 2025.


Arecor was spun out of Unilever and the Anglo-Dutch giant still has a 13.6% stake.


11.00am: Seraphim Space IT climbs to new high after US investment


Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC (LSE:SSIT, FRA:75N), the world’s first listed space tech fund, has hit a new peak.


Its shares are up 0.61% or 0.32p at 126.32p having earlier touched 127.2p.


The rise came after a surge in the share price of US group Arqit Quantum Inc, where Seraphim has just completed the purchase of a GBP27.3mln stake.


Arquit,a leader in quantum encryption technology designed to eliminate the threat of cyber-attack and data theft, closed 26.58% higher on Tuesday at US$31.57.


Seraphim Space bought its stake from the Seraphim Space Fund (SSF).


It intends to acquire four assets from SSF, of which this is the second.


9.14am: Zinc Media (AIM:ZIN) jumps after Channel 5 commissions Brits in Spain documentary


Shares in Zinc Media (AIM:ZIN) Group PLC have brightened after the production company unveiled its largest ever series commission.


The company’s Red Sauce subsidiary, led by former BBC Factual commissioning editor Tom Edwards, has been commissioned by Channel 5 to make 52 hours of programming.


Channel 5 has ordered a series called Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun – Costa Living.


Zinc describes it thus: “This observational documentary series charts the lives of the Brits who’ve swapped the damp and grey of the UK for a new life in the UK’s most popular holiday destination, Spain.”


Interesting to see how often the word ‘Brexit’ crops up.


The commission is on top of a recently announced deal for Red Sauce to make a 10-part series commission for UKTV-owned Dave called Special Ops: Crime Squad UK. This apparently “gives viewers a unique insight into the workings of the UK’s elite police task forces.”


The deals mean Red Sauce will scale up both its London and Manchester production and development teams.


The news has seen its shares climbe 9.75% to 66.4p.


8.25am: Arc Minerals soars after ‘game changing’ discovery


Shares in Arc Minerals Limited (AIM:ARCM) have struck it rich after the company unveiled what it called the most successful copper sulphide discovery in its history.


The company, which is focused on copper, cobalt and gold projects in Africa, said it had found massive sulphide copper mineralisation at Cheyeza East in north-western Zambia.


Similarly, at Fwiji, the fourth hole out of a four-hole programme has intersected copper sulphide mineralised quartz veins and associated alteration zones.


Nick von Schirnding, executive chairman of Arc Minerals, said: “This is the most significant copper sulphide discovery since we started drilling four years ago.


“Initial X-Ray Fluorescence data indicate significant grades of copper mineralisation – a potential game changer for us. The intersection of massive sulphide copper mineralisation at Cheyeza East provides strong support for big mineralised systems at play and provides a marker horizon for further targeting in the wider Cheyeza area. As a result of the recent discoveries we are currently reviewing and expanding our drilling and airborne geophysics programmes.”


Its shares have soared 33.53% to 4.47p on the news.


Elsewhere Ferro-Alloy Resources Ltd (LSE:FAR, FRA:5PE) – developer of the large Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit in Southern Kazakhstan – has added 5.44% to 32p after it said it had started production of ferro-molybdenum and vanadium pentoxide.


In October 2020, thecCompany started to recover molybdenum in the form of calcium molybdate as a by-product during the recovery of vanadium from bought-in raw-material concentrates. Calcium molybdate was sold at a discount to the published price for the contained molybdenum. The company is now converting this calcium molybdate to ferro-molybdenum which will enable the Company to avoid the discount.


It has also commissioned the equipment to convert ammonium metavanadate (AMV) into vanadium pentoxide. Formerly, the AMV was sold at a small discount to the published price of the contained vanadium pentoxide. Some amounts will continue to be sold as AMV in order to satisfy existing contracts, but increasing amounts will be converted to vanadium pentoxide, thus eliminating the discount for AMV.


Chief executive Nick Bridgen said : “This low cost, revenue-generating step completes our current product line-up and allows us to extract the maximum value of the vanadium and molybdenum from our raw-materials. Together with our low Kazakhstan operating costs, this enables us to be amongst the most efficient producers of vanadium from secondary raw materials


“We look forward to the addition of the electric arc furnace which will complete our plans for the existing plant, the earnings from which will contribute to the ongoing development of the main Balasausqandiq project.”




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