C&C Group on the rise as drinks sales continue recovering


C&C Group PLC (LSE:CCR) advanced 6% to 264.8p before close after returning to an interim operating profit.

The maker and distributor of alcoholic drinks expects to remain in the black for the full year as the hospitality industry continues to recover.

It delivered 93% of 2019 volumes last month so it forecast a full-year operating profit of EUR50-55mln, “assuming current trading conditions prevail”.

2.35pm: Airtel Africa lifted by new sustainability strategy

Airtel Africa PLC (LSE:AAF) climbed 16% to 114.8p in the early afternoon after launching a sustainability strategy “to improve the lives of millions of people across Africa through digital and financial inclusion and access to education”.

The telecoms group plans to establish data security for customers, provide underserved communities with access to reliable networks and connectivity, ensure all its suppliers are ESG compliant and achieve diversity and inclusion across the company.

It will also boost retail presence in rural areas to make sure more people have smartphone and home broadband, while keeping the products affordable.

The AIM-listed firm pledged it will help 1mln children by improving access to education and to reduce its environmental impact.

1.15pm: Gem Diamonds tumbles after revising down full-year guidance

Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE:GEMD) tumbled 12% to 54.8p after revising down guidance for the full year due to interruptions and unplanned downtime alongside COVID-19 disruption.

Carats recovered and sold will be lower than expected, with lower volumes hitting unit costs per tonne.

But in the year to date, the number of carats recovered was 14% higher than last year, at 82,266.

“Prices achieved for these goods were strong reflecting the continued good demand and market prices paid for Letseng category diamonds,” said chief executive Clifford Elphick.

“We are pleased with the successful vaccine rollout at Letseng which has resulted in more than 85% of the workforce being fully vaccinated. We however continue to be vigilant by remaining focused on maintaining stringent Covid-19 protocols and appropriate support at Letseng and the rest the group.”

11.50am: DeepVerge in demand after Modern Water selected for COVID-19 monitoring trial

DeepVerge PLC (AIM:DVRG) added 10% to 29.25p in the late morning after its Modern Water subsidiary was selected to contribute monitoring equipment to a Coronavirus (COVID-19) infrastructure trial.

The multiple-unit installation consists of six upgraded Microtox toxicity monitoring and new models of the Microtox PD range for SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogen monitoring.

In addition, software, data management capability, dashboards, encryption, and new AI models will be fully integrated.

10.40am: REACT drops after earnings miss forecasts

REACT Group Plc dropped 12% to 1.975p in mid-morning after admitting that full-year underlying earnings (EBITDA) will come in at GBP725,000-775,000, missing market expectations of GBP850,000.

Recurring revenues have continued growing, but during the second half of the year the hygiene group experienced some softness as the country moved out of lockdown.

August was also unusually quiet in terms of the typical summer shutdown maintenance work.

“We have had a positive start to the current financial year and sales activity is once again beginning to increase. A steadily growing pipeline of opportunities points towards a return to business-as-usual for a number of our customers and the outlook for the group remains positive,” commented chief executive Shaun Doak.

In the FTSE 250, Travis Perkins (LSE:TPK) plc shed 4% to 1,524.5p even though it upgraded full-year adjusted operating profit to at least GBP340mln, ahead of market expectations.

Investors were perhaps spooked by toolstation sales growing only 1% as trading normalises after the pandemic-induced ‘DIY fever’ is calming down.

The merchanting business did much better, rising 15% driven by strong demand from B2B customers.

9.30am: Future Metals shines on after returning high-grade results at Panton PGM Project

Future Metals NL (ASX:FME, AIM:FME) jumped 7% to 11p early on Thursday after returning high-grade results at the Panton PGM Project in Australia.

The miner has drilled five of eight holes as part of an ongoing programme, which so far has shown “considerably higher” PGM grades and widths when compared to historical drilling and resource modelling.

One of the samples showed 10 metres at 1.22 grammes per tonne of gold, with the total results topping expectations.

Staying in the mining world, Eurasia Mining PLC (AIM:EUA) was up by a tenth to 21.75 after a potential buyer of most of its assets in Russia has successfully completed its due diligence.

The AIM-listed group continues to assess additional interest from other parties and intends to advance several options with advice from UBS, DLA Piper and other advisers.

“We see competition for Nickel-Copper-PGM assets (with a similar basket of metals like ours and the assets included in our agreement with Rosgeo) increasing on a global scale,” said executive chairman Christian Schaffalitzky.


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