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176898  Mariana Resources Ltd. 2017-04-26 07:34:00  2017-04-26 13:49:18  2017-04-26 07:40:07  Mariana Resources agrees to be taken over in a deal that values gold digger at £167mln; shares surge  Mariana Resources agrees to be taken over in a deal that values gold digger at £167mln; shares surge 47%      mariana-resources-agrees-to-be-taken-over-in-a-deal-that-values-gold-digger-at-167mln-shares-surge-47-176898.html    <p> Mariana Resources PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MARL/Mariana-Resources-Ltd./" rel="602">LON:MARL</a>, CVE:MARL), the Turkey-focused mining exploration specialist, has agreed to be taken over in a deal that values the business at almost £167mln, representing an 84% premium on last night’s valuation.</p> <p> Canada-listed <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSEMKT:SAND/Sandstorm-Gold/" rel="6656">Sandstorm Gold</a>, which already owns 7% of the AIM-listed company, is offering its own paper as well as 28.75p per share in cash.</p> <p> This values Mariana stock, which closed at 59.01p on Wednesday, at 109.71p, and the company at £166.85mln.</p> <p> The deal has the backing of the Mariana board. Chairman John Horsburgh said: “The terms of the combination represent a significant and attractive premium to the market price of Mariana shares.”</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7348/mariana-resources-glen-parsons-talks-through-attractive-takeover-deal-7348.html" target="_top">WATCH: Boss Parsons talks through 'attractive takeover deal'</a></h3> <p> The company’s major asset is a 30% stake in the Hot Maden copper-gold project in Turkey.</p> <p> One of the highest grade deposits in the world today, it is host to 3.45mln gold equivalent ounces.</p> <p> In January the company revealed the findings of a preliminary economic assessment of Hot Maden, which estimated its net present value to be US$1.37bn.</p> <p> The projected cash flows from a mine are so strong the payback on the investment would be just over two years.</p> <h3> Modest upfront cost to build project</h3> <p> Upfront costs were estimated at US$169mln, which rises to US$261mln over the mine’s life.</p> <p> “The combination with a company such as Sandstorm not only de-risks Mariana's exposure as a single development-production asset company but provides a stronger diverse platform and ability to finance the development of the 30% owned high grade gold-copper discovery at Hot Maden in Turkey,” said Horsburgh.</p> <p> The shares shot up 47% to 87.15p.</p> <p> City broker RFC Ambrian said: "The pace of development at the Hot Maden project....has generated substantial returns for Mariana’s investors and more milestones remain.</p> <p> "However, a premium of 84% reflects the need to pay for this upside. Furthermore, the liquidity being offered is significant for inventors who have already seen significant gains with the stock and are looking to crystallise.</p> <p> "While cash represents only 26% of the deal, the Sandstorm stock investors would receive has been more than sixteen times as liquid as Mariana’s shares in US dollar terms over the past three months."</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p>   Mariana Resources PLC (LON:MARL), the Turkey-focused mining exploration specialist, has agreed to be taken over in a deal that values the business at almost £167mln, representing an 84% premium on last night’s valuation. Canada-listed Sandstorm Gold, which already owns 7% of the AIM-listed company, is offering its own paper as well as 28.75p per share in cash.  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
176929  GlaxoSmithKline plc 2017-04-26 12:56:00  2017-04-26 16:21:31  2017-04-26 13:07:28  GlaxoSmithKline shares weak despite being on track to deliver its financial targets for 2017 under n  GlaxoSmithKline shares weak despite being on track to deliver its financial targets for 2017 under new boss Emma Walmsley  GlaxoSmithKline PLC, FTSE 100, drugmaker, Emma Walmsley, new chief executive, first quarter results, slightly better,on target for 2017    glaxosmithkline-shares-weak-despite-being-on-track-to-deliver-its-financial-targets-for-2017-under-new-boss-emma-walmsley-176929.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:GSK/GlaxoSmithKline-plc/" rel="3067">GlaxoSmithKline plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:GSK/GlaxoSmithKline-plc/" rel="3067">LON:GSK</a>) saw its shares retreat furtehr in the afternoon even though the drugmaker said it remains on track to deliver its financial targets for 2017 under new boss Emma Walmsley as it reported slightly better than expected first-quarter results.</p> <p> The FTSE 100-listed firm saw its adjusted earnings per share rise by 31% to 25.0p in the quarter to March 31, beating forecasts for 24.5p.</p> <p> EPS was boosted by the weakness of sterling in the wake of last year's Brexit vote, with growth at constant exchange rates pegged back to 9%.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/173321/drugs-crazed-shoot-out-which-investment-is-best-out-of-astra-glaxo-and-shire-173321.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">READ: Drugs-crazed shoot-out: which investment is best out of Astra, Glaxo and Shire?</a></h3> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> The drugmaker’s sales were up 19% at actual exchange rates to £7.38bn, or 5% at constant exchange rates, also exceeding market forecast for £7.26bn.</p> <p> Walmsley, who took over as Glaxo’s chief executive officer from Andrew Witty on April 1, said: "This is a positive start for the year with sales growth in all three of our businesses and an improvement in the group's operating margin."</p> <p> She added: “Our clear focus is on commercial execution and preparation for near-term launches in Respiratory, HIV and Vaccines.”</p> <h3> Sales growth and improved operating margins across all Glaxo’s three businesses</h3> <p> Glaxo reported sales growth and improved operating margins across all its three business segments – Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines, and Consumer Health.</p> <p> The firm also saw its net cash flow from operations more than double to £1.1bn, up from £0.5bn a year earlier.</p> <p> The group said it will pay a 19p dividend for the first quarter and continues to expect make an 80p payout overall for full-year 2017.</p> <p> Glaxo also maintained its guidance for 2017 adjusted earnings per share at constant exchange rates.</p> <p> But by mid afternoon trading, Glaxo shares had fallen back to session lows after a slight rally, losing 1.4%, or 23p at 1,576p.</p> <h3> "We remain a little in limbo as far as the future of GSK is concerned", says analyst</h3> <p> Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:HL./Hargreaves-Lansdown/" rel="3587">Hargreaves Lansdown</a>, said: “Vaccines are the stand out performer this time round, particularly the new Bexsero meningitis B vaccine.</p> <p> “In fact new drugs were good across the board. New respiratory drugs more than offsetting the decline in Advair sales will be particularly satisfying given the pain the loss of patent on that blockbuster has caused.”</p> <p> “However,” he added, “we remain a little in limbo as far as the future of GSK is concerned.</p> <p> “Sir Andrew Witty was with the pharmaceuticals giant for 32 years, but his replacement Emma Walmsley is a relative newbie to the world of pharma. Does new blood mean a new direction?</p> <p> “Ms Walmsley may be seen as the heir to Sir Andrew, but she’s still likely to want to stamp her mark on the group. We will have to wait until the end of July to find out.”</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;-- Adds analyst comment, updates share price --</em></p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) said it remains on track to deliver its financial targets for 2017 under new boss Emma Walmsley as the drugmaker reported slightly better than expected first-quarter results. The FTSE 100-listed firm said its adjusted earnings per share rose by 31% to 25.0p in the quarter to March 31, beating forecasts for 24.5p.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
169617  Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC 2016-11-28 15:15:00  2017-04-26 15:53:01  2016-11-28 15:21:20  Rosslyn Data snaps up rival in bold move  Rosslyn Data snaps up rival in bold move  Big data, orders, Integritie, Roger Bullen,     rosslyn-data-snaps-up-rival-in-bold-move-169617.html    <p> Cloud-based data analytics specialist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/"><strong><a href="-##!##-/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="8418">Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC</a></strong></a>’s&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/"><strong>LON:RDT</strong></a>) has made a major statement of intent over its future.</p> <p> The group has snapped up rival data miner Integritie (UK) to provide a source of recurring sales and broaden its product reach.</p> <p> Consideration will be £2.59mln to be funded from a £2.21mln placing and up to a further £500,000 through an open offer.</p> <p> Both are at price of 4.5p or a round a 43% discount to the close yesterday.</p> <p> Market value is just under £4.5mln at 5.7p, with the shares hit by the deep discount of the placing.</p> <p> While it’s not a huge deal, given the size of the customer it is now dealing with, rising orders and Integritie’s recurring revenue the valuation looks more than a little on the mean side.</p> <h3> Structured and unstructured data on menu</h3> <p> Integritie’s speciality is analysing unstructured data and this will be an important add-on for Rosslyn according to chief executive Roger Bullen.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> “The customer base is complementary to our own and the acquisition will enable us to cross sell both structured and unstructured data services to an enlarged customer base.”</p> <p> Another key attraction, Rosslyn said, is that it will reduce the reliance on large contracts with long sales cycles in its core data mining business, something that has led to uneven sales over the past three years.</p> <p> The deal will generate a substantial increase in Rosslyn's recurring revenues, Bullen added, boosting the quality of earnings and reducing overall risk from the ‘reliance on the sale of cumbersome revenue items, the timing of which is always difficult to predict’.</p> <p> Integritie made a loss of £2.4mln in 2015 on sales of £3mln.</p> <p> Costs saving from merging the two companies are forecast at £0.8mln.</p> <h3> Contracts taking longer</h3> <p> Rosslyn flagged the slow sales cycle as an issue in its core business in November.</p> <p> While the average and lifetime contract value was trending upward, and now exceeds more than £75,000 a year, closing deals was also taking more time and effort.</p> <p> Though once signed, the churn rate – the proportion of the customer base that does not renew contracts each year is impressive at below 5%.</p> <h3> <strong>RAPid traction</strong></h3> <p> The company’s core products are the RAPid Big Data platform, and RAPid Data Extract Studio (a new self-service tool).</p> <p> Partnerships with the professional services firm PwC, the outsourcing specialist Genpact and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/NASDAQ:MSFT/Microsoft/"><strong><a href="-##!##-/NASDAQ:MSFT/Microsoft/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="5094">Microsoft</a></strong></a>&nbsp;underline its credibility.</p> <p> It has also won business from big blue-chip firms including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:AAL/Anglo-American/"><strong><a href="-##!##-/LON:AAL/Anglo-American/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3117">Anglo American</a></strong></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/"><strong><a href="-##!##-/LON:KGF/Kingfisher/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3168">Kingfisher</a></strong></a>&nbsp;as well as an unnamed global manufacturer.</p> <p> Earlier this month, it underlined its appeal to big names with a data and analytics partnership with management information giant&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/NYSE:DNB/Dun-%26amp%3B-Bradstreet/">Dun &amp; Bradstreet</a>&nbsp;to help companies make sense of the welter of information stored within their business.</p> <h3> Demand for commercial information never greater</h3> <p> The company is borne of an era when IT teams are shrinking yet the demand for meaningful commercial information has never been greater.</p> <p> This has led to a shift in data analysis with the departments, country offices and divisions of big firms carrying out their own number crunching rather than it being done centrally.</p> <p> By extension, this means the process is being overseen by workers unfamiliar with the technology and coding needed to extract the data required of their particular part of the business.</p> <p> Rosslyn has five interlocking technologies that make it easy for the lay user to do just that and that is the core of the RAPid data analytics platform.</p> <p> For example, one partner is using Rosslyn’s technology to deliver 11 client projects analysing more than £38bn (€50bn) of transactions.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> This growth of the size of the contracts and the expansion of the customer base is driving the higher annualised recurring revenue.</p>   Both the average and lifetime contract value is trending upward, and now exceeds more than £75,000 a year, which is more than half as much again as at the time of the company’s flotation, in April 2014. The churn rate – the proportion of the customer base that does not renew contracts each year – remained below 5%.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176933  Fox Marble Holdings PLC 2017-04-26 13:34:00  2017-04-26 16:07:13  2017-04-26 13:42:03  Fox Marble no longer a fox on the run  Fox Marble no longer a fox on the run      fox-marble-no-longer-a-fox-on-the-run-176933.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FOX/Fox-Marble-Holdings-PLC/" rel="4039">Fox Marble Holdings PLC</a>'s (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FOX/Fox-Marble-Holdings-PLC/" rel="4039">LON:FOX</a>) chief executive Chris Gilbert would be among the first to say the company has a chequered past.</p> <p> He's always been confident of the top notch quality of the marble in the quarries that the company operates in Kosovo and Macedonia, but has maybe underestimated the challenges the company would face in its early years.</p> <p> Challenges such as terrible weather; a fire at one of its equipment supplier's factories; and the Brexit vote putting a brake on the top end of the London housing market.</p> <p> Recent news flow has been positive, though, and the company's patient shareholders have been rewarded with a 50% hike in the share price this year.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:56.25%"> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c7HGRdUcGhk?ecver=2" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" width="640"></iframe></div> <p> A quick laundry list of milestone deals provides plenty of reasons to be cheerful.</p> <h3> READ <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/176899/fox-marble-bags-first-significant-turkish-customer-176899.html" target="_blank">Fox Marble bags first significant Turkish customer</a></h3> <h3> READ <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/172762/breakthrough-deal-in-india-for-fox-marble-172762.html" target="_blank">Breakthrough deal in India for Fox Marble</a></h3> <h3> READ <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/172472/fox-marble-advances-to-mayfair-172472.html" target="_blank">Fox advances to Mayfair</a></h3> <p> The order from Turkey prompted the company to revise up its estimated order book for the current year from €4.1mln to €4.4mln, which should be recognised as revenue in the current year.</p> <p> To put that into perspective, in the first half of 2016 the company's sales totalled €262,000.</p> <p> Gilbert believes the orders demonstrate the reputation of the Fox Marble brand is growing, as it establishes a track record of effective production and distribution of high-class marble.</p> <p> Meanwhile, the long-awaited factory in Kosovo came on stream at the end of December 2016.</p> <p> Fox Marble's factory is the first marble processing plant in the country and it means the company will no longer have to send slabs off to Italy – which seems to be the centre of the marble world – for processing.</p> <p> The net result is an improvement in margins for Fox Marble, and it will also give the company lots of flexibility in terms of the supply chain.</p> <p> “It also increases yield. We can now process smaller bits of marble that it was not economical to ship, so yields per tonne will rise – not that we’re short of marble,” Gilbert told Proactive Investors.</p> <p> Fox Marble has four quarries in operation: Cervenillë, Syriganë and Malishevë in Kosovo and Prilep in Macedonia.&nbsp;</p> <p> Together these produce nine varieties of stone.</p> <p> During 2015 and 2016 the focus was on opening new benches in all of the quarries in order to achieve more consistent and increasingly high quality output.&nbsp;</p> <p> More recently, the focus has been on converting its burgeoning order book into sales.</p> <p> Its worth noting that Fox Marble was only formed in 2011. In many respects it has come a long way, but a combination of over-promising, acts of Mother Nature and the unpredictable climate has created a situation where it now really needs to start delivering.</p> <p> The company traditionally issues its full-year results in early June, and they should show sales more than doubled in 2016, but this is the year when the top line should really start heading north at a rate of knots.</p> <p> Shareholders may even dare to hope that the company will move into the black. &nbsp;</p>   Fox Marble's CEO Chris Gilbert would be among the first to say the company has a chequered past. He's always been confident of the quality of the company's marble , but has maybe underestimated the challenges Fox would face in its early years. Recent news flow has been positive, though, and the company's patient shareholders have been rewarded with a 50% hike in the share price this year.  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
176930  88 Energy ltd 2017-04-26 13:08:00  2017-04-27 07:36:41  2017-04-26 13:11:56  88 Energy is one of the most exciting companies on AIM - broker  88 Energy is one of the most exciting companies on AIM - broker      88-energy-is-one-of-the-most-exciting-companies-on-aim-broker-176930.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/ASX:88E/88-Energy-Ltd/" rel="14986">88 Energy Ltd</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:88E/88-Energy-ltd/" rel="3837">LON:88E</a>) is one of the most exciting companies on London’s AIM market, so says WH Ireland analyst Brendan Long.</p> <p> The Alaska focussed explorer yesterday announced the start of the Icewine-2 well which is designed to provide a production test of the HRZ shale play.</p> <p> The Arctic Fox rig started drilling Icewine-2 on Monday, at 19:15 local time in Alaska, and 88 Energy anticipates that Icewine-2 will undergo production testing in late June or early July.</p> <p> Icewine-2 follows up the previous success of the Icewine-1 discovery well which confirmed the presence of the potentially large HRZ shale and delivered technical readings that were better than expected prior to drilling.</p> <h3> <a href="http://CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news" target="_blank">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> Production testing will be pivotal for the project’s commercial potential, and as such the programme will be followed closely by investors.</p> <p> “US Shale oil is clearly back in business,” Brendan Long said in a note.</p> <p> “Alaska is probably the last state where large scale unconventional resources remain under appraised.”</p> <p> The analyst added: “We hope the well is at least a technical success such that high quality data is obtained. Production testing should add direct evidence of the potential of the HRZ shale play.</p> <p> “This is one of the most exciting wells the AIM market will see in 2017 in its own right and because 88Energy is a spearhead for AIM to gain exposure to US shale oil giving it strategic significance in terms of rounding out the AIM offering.”</p> <p> Dave Wall, 88 Energy managing director, said: "The spud of Icewine#2 represents another milestone for the company and its shareholders and we now look forward to a safe operation, above all else.</p> <p> “It is only a few short weeks before production testing begins, which could unlock the huge resource potential of the HRZ shale play."</p>   88 Energy is one of the most exciting companies on London’s AIM market, so says WH Ireland analyst Brendan Long. The Alaska focussed explorer yesterday announced the start of the Icewine-2 well which is designed to provide a production test of the HRZ shale play.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176927  Obtala Ltd 2017-04-26 12:00:00  2017-04-26 12:11:41  2017-04-26 12:09:32  Obtala signs letter of intent to invest in sustainable agriculture in Tanzania  Obtala signs letter of intent to invest in sustainable agriculture in Tanzania      obtala-signs-letter-of-intent-to-invest-in-sustainable-agriculture-in-tanzania-176927.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OBT/Obtala-Ltd/" rel="707">Obtala Ltd</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OBT/Obtala-Ltd/" rel="707">LON:OBT</a>), the agricultural and forestry company, has pledged to invest US$10mln over the next five years in Tanzania under the 'Grow Africa' initiative.</p> <p> '<a href="https://www.growafrica.com" target="_blank">Grow Africa</a>' works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments.</p> <p> The company will plough its money into a new modular pack-house facility, housing of staff and training centres, scaling plantation based activities and the development of an outgrower programme, subject to sourcing of matched funding, grants, preferential loans and equity from donors, development finance institutions and impact investors.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> "<a href="http://obtala.com/sustainability-at-our-heart.html" target="_blank">Obtala intends to progress our projects in Tanzania</a> with the collaboration and partnership of the Government of Tanzania,” said Miles Pelham, chairman of Obtala.&nbsp;</p> <p> “The project is consistent with the investment priorities identified by the country-led Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) investment plans. In particular, this project aims to contribute to Tanzania,” Pelham added.</p> <h3> Government of Tanzania intends to support Obtala's planned investment</h3> <p> Pelham said Obtala welcomed the government of Tanzania's intent to support this investment, which will see multiple stakeholders working together.</p> <p> "We at Obtala are committed to be part of the agricultural transformation of Tanzania and look forward to building a long and lasting relationship with the farmers, the government, the donors, the private sector, and other players in Tanzania.&nbsp;Accordingly we are pleased to submit this Letter of Intent to support and accelerate the development of Tanzania's agriculture and to improve the lives of Tanzania's farmers and citizens," Pelham said.</p> <p> Shares in Obtala were up 0.4% at 17.44p at midday.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Obtala, the agricultural and forestry company, has pledged to invest $10mln over the next five years in Tanzania under the 'Grow Africa' initiative. "Obtala intends to progress our projects in Tanzania with the collaboration and partnership of the Government of Tanzania,” said Miles Pelham, chairman of Obtala.   NEWS          View Edit Delete
176925  Ortac Resources Ltd 2017-04-26 11:29:00  2017-04-26 12:25:54  2017-04-26 11:35:00  Ortac Resources associate to start drilling in Eritrea  Ortac Resources associate to start drilling in Eritrea      ortac-resources-associate-to-start-drilling-in-eritrea-176925.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OTC/Ortac-Resources-Ltd/" rel="3739">Ortac Resources Ltd</a>’s (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OTC/Ortac-Resources-Ltd/" rel="3739">LON:OTC</a>) Eritrea associate Andiamo Exploration is set to start drilling at its Haykota licence after arranging funding for the programme.</p> <p> Andiamo will carry out a reverse circulation shallow drill programme at Haykota, which is prospective for copper and gold.</p> <p> Vassilios Carellas, Ortac's CEO, commented:&nbsp;"We are very pleased that Andiamo has secured the funds to re-commence drilling these highly prospective targets in their Haykota license area and we look forward to reporting further progress in due course."</p> <p> Ortac holds an 18.48% equity interest in Andiamo, though its holding was diluted in February when private equity group Emerald Ex took a stake.</p> <p> Shares eased 6% to 3.5p.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Vassilios Carellas, Ortac's CEO, commented: "We are very pleased that Andiamo has secured the funds to re-commence drilling these highly prospective targets in their Haykota license area and we look forward to reporting further progress in due course." Ortac holds an 18.48% equity interest in Andiamo, though its holding was diluted in February when private equity group Emerald Ex took a stake.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
176924  Condor Gold PLC 2017-04-26 11:26:00  2017-04-26 16:23:09  2017-04-26 11:33:12  Upside at Condor Gold’s La India project all set to attract in new US investors  Upside at Condor Gold’s La India project all set to attract in new US investors  Gold, Nicaragua, La India    upside-at-condor-golds-la-india-project-all-set-to-attract-in-new-us-investors-176924.html    <p> “It’s the biggest resource of any Aim-listed company,” says Mark Child of the 2.4 mln ounce La India gold project in Nicaragua.</p> <p> It’s a straightforward enough statement, but one that’s perhaps not been appreciated as much by the UK market in recent months as it might have been at the height of the gold boom.</p> <p> Hence Child’s decision to take an OTCQX listing for Condor Gold Limited (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNR/Condor-Gold-PLC/" rel="239">LON:CNR</a>) and give the company some exposure to high net worth investors in the USA.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> “There are three OTC markets boards,” explains Child. “The QX is the premier blue chip board. Marks &amp; Spencer is on it. It is DTC-eligible so US retail can buy the shares but it means your regulator remains in London.”</p> <p> That’s ideal for Child, who is quite happy with having Condor regulated in the UK, but is equally keen for Condor’s shares to show up on the trading screens of US investors.</p> <p> “It makes an awful lot of sense for me to access US retail high net worths. Institutions are going to wait for a placement – typically they don’t buy in the secondary.”</p> <p> So, off to the OTCQX it is. Trading commenced on 24 April, and although it’s too early to say how large the volumes will shape up to be, the timing looks propitious.</p> <p> The mining bear market is well and truly over, even if we haven’t quite yet entered a full-blown bull phase.</p> <h3> “The strategy is twofold,” says Condor boss</h3> <p> There’s money around for mining, as Child has adeptly demonstrated. Condor raised £5.2 mln in February of this year, money it is now deploying on the ground at La India.</p> <p> “The strategy is twofold,” says Child. “The first part is to permit and construct a 100,000 ounce per annum plant taking feed out of a single pit.”</p> <p> It’s tempting to refer to this as a big pilot plant, since optimisation studies conducted by Whittle Consulting produced a range of production scenarios for La India, with the largest running to 165,000 ounces per year.</p> <p> Which brings us nicely on to the second part of the strategy.</p> <p> This, says Child, involves showing that La India in fact lies within “a major gold district.”</p> <p> The early manifestations of that theory have allowed for the development of the expanded production scenarios. But there could be much more.</p> <h3> Ross Beaty now Condor's biggest shareholder</h3> <p> It’s on the strength of this potential that the well-known mining entrepreneur and investor Ross Beaty has come onto the Condor register in a big way – he’s now the company’s biggest shareholder.</p> <p> And it’s to test this hypothesis further that the company has already embarked on a 10,000 metre drill campaign that aims both to expand the existing resource at La India and to undertake scout drilling to attempt to identify another major vein.</p> <p> Notably,, there’s a NI 43-101 compliant resource of 334,000 ounces on the Mestiza vein set, excluded from the mining studies in the PFS and PEAs but the same area has a resource of 780,000 oz gold at 10 grams per tonne to Russian oviet classification.</p> <p> “We’ve got the rig up there now,” says Child. “What we’re trying to do is convert the Soviet resource into 43-101. That could represent a material change for the company. We think we can get 700,000 ounces into 43-101 at 7.5 grams per tonne, which paves the way for another 40,000 ounces per year of production.”</p> <p> All-in that would take the potential production from La India up to 200,000 ounces per year, 100,000 from open pit and 100,000 from underground.</p> <p> Whether it will actually shape up like that remains to be seen. But there’s certainly plenty there to get a US audience excited, especially since the gold price has shown considerable signs of life lately.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   “It’s the biggest resource of any Aim-listed company,” says Mark Child of the 2.4 mln ounce La India gold project in Nicaragua. It’s a straightforward enough statement, but one that’s perhaps not been appreciated as much by the UK market in recent months as it might have been at the height of the gold boom.  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
176923  Standard Chartered PLC 2017-04-26 11:06:00  2017-04-26 11:16:45  2017-04-26 11:16:45  Restructuring starting to pay-off as Standard Chartered sees first quarter profits nearly double  Restructuring starting to pay-off as Standard Chartered sees first quarter profits nearly double  Standard Chartered PLC, FTSE 100, unscheduled update, emerging markets, lender, first-quarter profits, near-doubling, restructuring strategy, Bill Winters, group chief executive    restructuring-starting-to-pay-off-as-standard-chartered-sees-first-quarter-profits-nearly-double-176923.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:STAN/Standard-Chartered-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="2994">Standard Chartered PLC</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:STAN/Standard-Chartered-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="2994">LON:STAN</a>) surprised the market with an unscheduled trading update today which showed a near doubling in its first-quarter profits as its restructuring strategy starts to pay off.</p> <p> In an interim management statement, the emerging markets-focused lender reported a pre-tax profit of US$1.0bn for the quarter ended March 31, up 94% year-on-year.</p> <p> Much of the uplift in profit was a result of large asset write-downs in the company’s Principal Finance business in 2016, excluding which profits rose by 26% year-on-year.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/173691/lack-of-dividend-clouds-standard-chartered-s-return-to-profits-in-2016-173691.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">READ: Lack of dividend clouds Standard Chartered's return to profits in 2016</a></h3> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> StanChart said its group income grew by 8% to US$3.6bn, or by 4% excluding Principal Finance.</p> <p> The bank also benefited from low impairment charges, which were down 58% to US$198mln, but said this was unusually low, and it remains cautious on credit conditions.</p> <h3> Making good progress improving the performance of the group</h3> <p> Bill Winters, StanChart’s group chief executive, said:&nbsp; ”We are making good progress improving the performance of the Group. The significantly increased profit before tax results from particularly low loan impairment and our focus on cost control”.</p> <p> He added: “Competition in our markets remains intense but our investments in the business and focus on our clients is making us more competitive and will enable us to deliver sustainable income growth over time."</p> <p> In late morning trading, StanChart shares were strong FTSE 100 gainers, up 2.6%, or 19.1p at 747.2p.</p> <h3> “Emerging market focus could in the long term prove to be an ace in the hole”</h3> <p> Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at <a href="-##!##-/LON:HL./Hargreaves-Lansdown/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3587">Hargreaves Lansdown</a> said: ‘The top and bottom line are moving in the right direction at Standard Chartered, which has benefited from a bit of self-help and some favourable macro-economic tailwinds.</p> <p> “Costs are being contained, and the bank’s emerging market focus could in the long term prove to be an ace in the hole.”</p> <p> He added; “By 2030, 73% of the world’s middle class population will be in Standard Chartered’s footprint, compared with 36% in 2009, so the market opportunity is there, if the bank can capitalise on it.”</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Standard Chartered PLC surprised the market with an unscheduled trading update today which showed a near doubling in its first-quarter profits as its restructuring strategy starts to pay off. In an interim management statement, the emerging markets-focused lender reported a pre-tax profit of US$1.0bn for the quarter ended March 31, up 94% year-on-year.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176922  Walker Greenbank plc 2017-04-26 11:03:00  2017-04-26 11:08:46  2017-04-26 11:08:46  Walker Greenbank cranks up the divi as licensing activities pick up  Walker Greenbank cranks up the divi as licensing activities pick up      walker-greenbank-cranks-up-the-divi-as-licensing-activities-pick-up-176922.html    <p> Luxury interior furnishing company Walker Greenbank PLC (LON:WGB) said UK licensing income is gaining momentum.</p> <p> New distribution agreements for bedding in the US and China contributed to a 13.1% increase in constant currency terms in licensing income in 2016, to £2.6mln.</p> <p> Income from licensing its designs contributed to a solid performance last year in which sales rose 5.2% to £924mln from £87.8mln in 2015, and underlying profit from operations rose 19.5% to £9.8mln from £8.2mln.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <h3> READ&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/172778/walker-greenbank-completes-flood-defences-172778.html" target="_blank">Walker Greenbank completes flood defences</a></h3> <p> Reported profit before tax eased to £6.97mln from £7.34mln but underlying profit before tax, which excludes one-off items such as £3.14mln of acquisition costs, advanced to £9.13mln from £7.34mln.</p> <p> “Sales in the year ahead are expected to benefit from the new collections launched this spring, from the continued momentum of our licensing activities and from the significant contribution from Clarke &amp; Clarke,” said Terry Stannard's, the group's chairman.</p> <p> “With this backdrop, we remain confident in meeting the board's expectations for the current financial year," he added.</p> <p> A final dividend of 3.06p, up 24.9% from 2.45p a year earlier, took the full-year dividend up to 3.61p, which was also 24.9% up year -on-year.</p> <p> Shares in Walker Greenbank edged up 1.3% to 215.25p on the results.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Luxury interior furnishing company Walker Greenbank PLC (LON:WGB) said UK licensing income is gaining momentum. New distribution agreements for bedding in the US and China contributed to a 13.1% increase in constant currency terms in licensing income in 2016, to £2.6mln.   NEWS          View Edit Delete
176921  Tullow Oil plc 2017-04-26 10:51:00  2017-04-26 12:53:48  2017-04-26 10:54:52  Tullow Oil first quarter production at top end of expectations   Tullow Oil first quarter production at top end of expectations       tullow-oil-first-quarter-production-at-top-end-of-expectations-176921.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TLW/Tullow-Oil-plc/" rel="3127">Tullow Oil plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TLW/Tullow-Oil-plc/" rel="3127">LON:TLW</a>) confirmed production averaged 85,700 barrels of oil per day in the first quarter of 2017, which is at the top of the group’s target range for the whole year.</p> <p> The oiler said it is sticking to its current guidance of 78,000 to 85,000 bopd for 2017.</p> <p> The positive production stats will be welcomed by investors that backed the group’s US$750mln rights issue - yesterday Tullow revealed that 95% of the new shares were taken up. The rights issue was launched in March and was approved in early April.</p> <p> Also, Tullow highlighted that a six-monthly redetermination of its reserves based lending was completed in March. Debt maturity was extended to April 2019. The company’s net debt was confirmed at US$4.6bn, leaving it with headroom and free cash totalling $1.2 bn prior to the rights issue.</p> <p> Outgoing chief executive Aidan Heavey, who is moving over the chairman role, said: “as I hand over my role as CEO to Paul McDade, I am confident that Tullow has the financial and operational flexibility to prosper in 2017 and beyond."</p> <p> He added: “This has been an exceptionally busy few months for Tullow as we agreed to farm down our assets to our partners in Uganda, made substantial changes to our board and launched a $750 million rights Issue.</p> <p> “We have also been working hard on moving towards full field development in both Uganda and Kenya and have made good progress on the Jubilee turret remediation project and optimising production from the TEN field.”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Tullow Oil confirmed production averaged 85,700 barrels of oil per day in the first quarter of 2017, which is at the top of the group’s target range for the whole year. The oiler said it is sticking to its current guidance of 78,000 to 85,000 bopd for 2017. The positive production stats will be welcomed by investors that backed the group’s US$750mln rights issue.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
176920  Croda International 2017-04-26 10:41:00  2017-04-26 10:48:38  2017-04-26 10:48:38  Croda reports improved first-quarter sales growth boosted by sterling weakness  Croda reports improved first-quarter sales growth boosted by sterling weakness  Speciality chemicals, FTSE 100, Croda International PLC, improved sales growth, first quarter, strong and stable, profit margin, organic growth, currency factors    croda-reports-improved-first-quarter-sales-growth-boosted-by-sterling-weakness-176920.html    <p> Speciality chemicals group <a href="-##!##-/LON:CRDA/Croda-International/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3210">Croda International</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:CRDA/Croda-International/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3210">LON:CRDA</a>) was the top FTSE 100 gainer this morning was the firm reported improved sales growth in the first quarter with a “strong and stable profit margin”.</p> <p> In a trading update, the group that the improving sales trend seen in late 2016 had continued into the first quarter of 2017 and led to constant currency sales increasing by 4.9% year-on-year, driven by "strong organic growth”.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> Croda added that sales on a reported currency basis rose by 19% to £365.5mln, up from £306.8mln at the same stage a year earlier, boosted by the ongoing weakness in sterling since June’s Brexit vote.</p> <p> It added that the later timing of Easter this year also helped to grow sales in the quarter by 1.5%.</p> <h3> At constant currency, the performance was solid but not as strong</h3> <p> Croda's Personal Care unit saw reported sales growth of 19% in the first quarter of 2017, while its Life Sciences unit sales rose 11%, Performance Technologies sales gained 27% lift, and Industrial Chemical sales rose 15%.</p> <p> At constant currency, the performance was solid but not as strong, with Personal Care sales up 4.6% year-on-year, Performance Technologies ahead 12%, and Industrial Chemicals sales rising 1.9%, although Life Sciences sales dropped 1.9%.</p> <p> Croda said its free cash generation continued in the first quarter and net debt reduced from the end of 2016, despite increased capital investment.</p> <h3> On track to deliver continued profitable progress</h3> <p> The group concluded: "We are encouraged by the group's performance in the first quarter and, whilst we expect the exceptional sales growth seen in Performance Technologies to moderate, we remain on track to deliver continued profitable progress through 2017.”</p> <p> In mid morning trading, Croda shares were 4.6%, or 169p higher at 3,828p.</p> <p> In a note to clients, Liberum Capital analyst Adam Collins said: “Solid start to year but fullish rating.”</p> <p> He pointed out:” 1Q revenue growth of 4.9% at constant rates is an acceleration from recent quarters with Personal Care's 4.6% notable but it points out that the timing of Easter boosted by +1.5% and is reaffirming consensus not raising it.</p> <p> The analyst reiterated a ‘hold’ rating and 3,500p price target on Croda.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Speciality chemicals group Croda International PLC was the top FTSE 100 gainer this morning was the firm reported improved sales growth in the first quarter with a “strong and stable profit margin”. Croda said improving sales trend seen in late 2016 had continued into the first quarter of 2017 and led to constant currency sales increasing by 4.9% year-on-year.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
176919  Sky Plc 2017-04-26 10:33:00  2017-04-26 13:53:29  2017-04-26 10:38:07  Sky is materially undervalued regardless of Murdoch bid - broker  Sky is materially undervalued regardless of Murdoch bid - broker      sky-is-materially-undervalued-regardless-of-murdoch-bid-broker-176919.html    <p> Sky PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SKY/Sky-Plc/" rel="3048">LON:SKY</a>) is ‘materially undervalued’ whether or not Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7bn bid to take full control of the satellite broadcaster goes ahead, according to research firm Jefferies.</p> <p> It points out that the shares are currently trading around 10% below the price offered by Murdoch’s <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:C21/21st-Century/" rel="2062">21st Century</a> Fox, suggesting the deal might fail.</p> <p> Potential intervention by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been over-egged, Jefferies reckons.</p> <p> And it thinks independent investors may even have some leverage to extract a better offer from the media baron.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> On the off-chance the takeover founders, the commercial case for a stand-alone Sky still stacks up, the American outfit said in a note to clients.</p> <p> A slowdown in growth noted recently is the result not of structural problems in the company’s home market, but ‘limited commercial effort’.</p> <p> The business should receive from a useful boost from the Wholesale Local Access (WLA) settlement set to be imposed on BT by the telecoms regulator, the research firm said.</p> <p> Upgrading its recommendation to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’, Jefferies lifted its valuation of shares in Sky to £12 a pop from £10.50.&nbsp;</p> <p> “Sky is trading 9-10% below the FOX offer recommended last December,” said Jefferies.</p> <p> “Whilst this suggests risk of deal failure, we believe UK approval prospects are favourable given the principles established in previous reviews.&nbsp;</p> <p> “Standalone, Sky’s prospects have been enhanced by WLA proposals and BT/Virgin travails.”</p> <p> Of the 16 analysts logged as following Sky by the Brokerforecasts site, nine are in the ‘buy’ camp, while there are only one with a ‘sell’ recommendation. The remainder think the shares are fully valued.</p> <p> At 10am, the shares were changing hands for 982p, little changed from Tuesday’s close.</p>   Sky is ‘materially undervalued’ whether or not Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7bn bid to take full control of the satellite broadcaster goes ahead, according to research firm Jefferies. It points out that the shares are currently trading around 10% below the price offered by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, suggesting the deal might fail.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176918  Instem Plc 2017-04-26 10:12:00  2017-04-26 10:21:45  2017-04-26 10:21:45  Instem confirms revenue and profits from US NIEHS contract will be recognised in current year  Instem confirms revenue and profits from US NIEHS contract will be recognised in current year      instem-confirms-revenue-and-profits-from-us-niehs-contract-will-be-recognised-in-current-year-176918.html    <p> Investment analysts who follow <a href="-##!##-/LON:INS/Instem-Plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3711">Instem Plc</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:INS/Instem-Plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3711">LON:INS</a>) will not have to revise their current year forecasts after the company tied up an accounting loose end.</p> <p> Back in late March when it announced its <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/170328ins6813a" target="_blank">2016 results</a>, the software group reported that a delayed order expanding the use of Provantis, Instem's primary pre-clinical software suite, at the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), had recently been received and the bean counters were assessing the appropriate accounting treatment for revenue and profit recognition purposes.</p> <p> Instem confirmed the contract revenues and profits from the order would be recognised in the current year, in line with the accounting treatments underpinning current market forecasts among the broking community.</p> <p> Shares in Instem edged up 1.1% to 179.02p in a falling market.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Investment analysts who follow Instem PLC (LON:INS) will not have to revise their current year forecasts after the company tied up an accounting loose end. Instem confirmed the contract revenues and profits from the delayed NIEHS order would be recognised in the current year, in line with the accounting treatments underpinning current market forecasts among the broking community.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
176917  GKN 2017-04-26 10:07:00  2017-04-26 10:13:27  2017-04-26 10:13:27  GKN cautions that encouraging growth rate achieved in the year to date may not be sustained  GKN cautions that encouraging growth rate achieved in the year to date may not be sustained  GKN PLC, FTSE 100, automotive, aerospace, parts manufacturer, pace of growth , unsustainable, first quarter trading, good organic sales growth, Driveline business, Nigel Stein, chief executive    gkn-cautions-that-encouraging-growth-rate-achieved-in-the-year-to-date-may-not-be-sustained-176917.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:GKN/GKN/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3539">GKN</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:GKN/GKN/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3539">LON:GKN</a>) saw its shares top the FTSE 100 fallers list this morning after the automotive and aerospace parts manufacturer warned that the good pace of growth seen in its first-quarter may not last.</p> <p> In a trading update for the period since January 1, GKN said that overall in the first quarter the group achieved “good organic sales growth as well as continuing to benefit from currency translation.”</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> The engineer added that its automotive market performed better than expected, although growth in aerospace was slightly slower than planned.</p> <p> GKN said its Driveline division generated quarterly sales ahead of global industry production rates, that were themselves up 6%.</p> <p> Meanwhile, the group’s Aerospace division saw sales increase "modestly" on an organic basis, with a production ramp-up of new aircraft slightly outweighed by cuts in production of the A380, <a href="-##!##-/NYSE:BA/Boeing/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="5455">Boeing</a> 777/747 and business jets.</p> <h3> Encouraging growth rate achieved to date may not be sustained</h3> <p> Nigel Stein, GKN’s chief executive, cautioned: “The encouraging growth rate achieved to date may not be sustained as the year progresses and comparators get tougher, nevertheless we expect 2017 to be another year of growth."</p> <p> In reaction, in mid morning trading GKN shares shed 1.4%, or 5.2p at 360.9p, although that was above earlier lows of 355.1p.</p> <p> Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at <a href="-##!##-/LON:HL./Hargreaves-Lansdown/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3587">Hargreaves Lansdown</a> said: “GKN put in another steady performance in the first quarter, but despite the glamour of building parts for the F-35 fighter jet, it remains a Mondeo rather than a <a href="-##!##-/NYSE:RACE/Ferrari/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="14253">Ferrari</a>.</p> <p> “Performance has been reliable of late, but tends to be more or less in line with end markets.”</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   GKN PLC saw its shares top the FTSE 100 fallers list this morning after the automotive and aerospace parts manufacturer warned that the good pace of growth seen in its first-quarter may not last. In a trading update, GKN said that overall in the first quarter the group achieved “good organic sales growth as well as continuing to benefit from currency translation.”  NEWS          View Edit Delete
176897  BHP Billiton plc 2017-04-26 07:26:00  2017-04-26 09:49:53  2017-04-26 07:37:24  BHP Billiton cuts guidance for copper, coal production, says progressing sale of two US petroleum fi  BHP Billiton cuts guidance for copper, coal production, says progressing sale of two US petroleum fields  BHP Billiton PLC, FTSE 100, world’s biggest miner, cut production guidance, copper, metallurgical coal, industrial action in Chile, Escondida mine, bad weather in Australia, cyclone Debbie, progressing sale, two key fields, onshore US petroleum interests, Fayetteville, Hawkville, under pressure, activist shareholder, Elliott Management    bhp-billiton-cuts-guidance-for-copper-coal-production-says-progressing-sale-of-two-us-petroleum-fields-176897.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BLT/BHP-Billiton-plc/" rel="3118">BHP Billiton plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BLT/BHP-Billiton-plc/" rel="3118">LON:BLT</a>), the world’s biggest miner,&nbsp; has cut its full-year production guidance for copper and metallurgical coal due to industrial action in Chile and to bad weather at mines in Australia over the past quarter.</p> <p> In an operational review, the FTSE 100-listed firm also said it was progressing the sale of two key fields at its onshore US petroleum interests.</p> <p> The moves come with the group under pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Management to decouple the US petroleum division from the company, one of a number of radical proposals to enhance shareholder value proposed by the hedge fund firm.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/176349/bhp-billiton-says-elliott-materially-overstates-potential-value-to-be-created-by-its-radical-proposals-176349.html" target="_blank">READ: BHP Billiton says Elliott “materially overstates” potential value of its proposals</a></h3> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> BHP Billiton said: "Divestment of non-core onshore US &nbsp;acreage is progressing, with the sales process well advanced for up to 50,000 acres of the southern Hawkville.”</p> <p> It added that its Fayetteville field is under currently review and that it was "considering all options including divestment."</p> <h3> “Everything we do at BHP Billiton is designed to create value", says BHP Billiton boss</h3> <p> Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton’s chief executive officer, said: “Everything we do at BHP Billiton is designed to create value for all of our shareholders, today and for the long term.</p> <p> “We have fundamentally restructured BHP Billiton to increase returns.”</p> <p> The miner cut its guidance for full-year copper output by 17% to a range of 1.33mln to 1.36mln tonnes following a six-week strike at the Escondida mine, the world's biggest copper mine, that ended in late March.</p> <p> BHP Billiton’s partner in Escondida, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RIO/Rio-Tinto/" rel="2634">Rio Tinto</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RIO/Rio-Tinto/" rel="2634">LON:RIO</a> ) also cut its 2017 guidance for copper production in an operational update last week.</p> <p> In early morning trading, BHP Billiton shares were 0.7%, or 8.0p higher at 1,214.5p.</p> <p> In a note to clients, analysts at Shore Capital said: “BHP reported reductions in iron ore, coking coal and copper production for the March 2017 quarter, reflecting issues similar to that suffered by <a href="-##!##-/LON:RIO/Rio-Tinto/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="2634">Rio Tinto</a> during the period – but generally, not as severe.”</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/176649/rio-tinto-cuts-full-year-copper-production-guidance-after-first-quarter-hit-by-strikes-in-chile-176649.html" target="_blank">READ:&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/market_reports/edit/http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:RIO/Rio-Tinto/">Rio Tinto</a>&nbsp;cuts full year copper guidance</h3> <p> BHP Billiton reduced its full-year guidance for coking coal guidance by 9% to 39mln to 41mln tonnes, while the firm also narrowed its iron ore output guidance to 268mln to 272mln tonnes.</p> <p> The miner said shipments of Australian coking coal to Asian steel mills will be affected in the current quarter after a cyclone swept across eastern Australia in late March, cutting off rail lines to Pacific Ocean ports.</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;-- Adds share price, broker comment --</em></p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   BHP Billiton PLC, the world’s biggest miner, has cut its full-year production guidance for copper and metallurgical coal due to industrial action in Chile and to bad weather at mines in Australia over the past quarter. In an operational review, the FTSE 100-listed firm also said it was progressing the sale of two key fields at its onshore US petroleum interests.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176908  London Stock Exchange 2017-04-26 08:22:00  2017-04-26 09:46:42  2017-04-26 08:29:58  London Stock Exchange makes strong start to year, swiftly shaking off blocked merger disappointment  London Stock Exchange makes strong start to year, swiftly shaking off blocked merger disappointment  London Stock Exchange PLC, FTSE 100, strong start to the year, shaking disappointment, blocked merger, German rival, Deutsche Boerse AG. capital markets, lower trading levels, currency factors, European Union, competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, Brexit    london-stock-exchange-makes-strong-start-to-year-swiftly-shaking-off-blocked-merger-disappointment-176908.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LSE/London-Stock-Exchange/" rel="1123">London Stock Exchange</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LSE/London-Stock-Exchange/" rel="1123">LON:LSE</a>) said it has made a strong start to the year, swiftly shaking off the disappointment of its blocked merger with German rival Deutsche Boerse AG.</p> <p> In a first quarter trading update, the stock markets operator said it saw sales growth across the group apart from capital markets, which was hit by lower trading levels than last year and currency factors.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> The LSE said revenue of £402mln in the three months ended 31 March were up 18% to £402mln, helped by currency factors, with total income from continuing operations rising by 19% to £458.7mln.</p> <p> Of its three largest segments, the FTSE 100-listed firm said its information services sales grew by 24% at the reported level and 9% on an underlying basis helped by a first contribution from Mergent, the acquisition of which was completed at the start of the quarter.</p> <p> It added that reported sales at its LCH clearing house post trade-services grew by 25%, with underlying sales growth of 17%, while capital markets revenues rose 1% due to currency effects but fell 4% at the organic level.</p> <h3> LSE actively engaged in exploring selective ongoing organic and inorganic investments</h3> <p> Xavier Rolet, the group‘s chief executive, said: "We are well positioned as an open access financial markets infrastructure group to benefit from the introduction of MiFID II and remain focused on executing our strategy, partnering with customers and delivering value for shareholders.</p> <p> "We continue to be actively engaged in exploring selective ongoing organic and inorganic investments in order to drive further growth."</p> <p> In early morning trading, LSE shares were 0.9%, or 28p higher at 3,335p.</p> <p> Russ Mould, director of investment group <a href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:AJB/AJ-Bell/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="14262">AJ Bell</a> said: “The proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse has been blocked by the EU but the group is now looking at other investments to drive further growth.”</p> <p> The European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager put a final bullet in the LSE and Deutsche Boerse merger plans on March 29, coincidentally – or not – the day UK prime minister Theresa May triggered the Brexit process.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175600/killer-timing-eu-competition-boss-delivers-coup-de-grace-to-london-stock-exchange-deutsche-bourse-merger-175600.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">READ: EU competition boss delivers coup de grace to LSE merger</a></h3> <p> After almost exactly a year, the US$28bn all-share merger plan was terminated after Vestager ruled that it "would have significantly reduced competition" in the area of clearing of fixed income instruments.</p> <p> In a statement, the EU commissioner said: "As the parties failed to offer the remedies required to address our competition concerns, the Commission has decided to prohibit the merger.”</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;-- Adds share price, analyst comment --</em></p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   London Stock Exchange PLC said it has made a strong start to the year, swiftly shaking off the disappointment of its blocked merger with German rival Deutsche Boerse. In a first quarter trading update, the stock markets operator said it saw sales growth across the group apart from capital markets, which was hit by lower trading levels than last year and currency factors.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176905  Boohoo.com 2017-04-26 07:57:00  2017-04-26 16:23:52  2017-04-26 08:01:46  Online fashion retailer Boohoo.com sees its annual profits nearly double  Online fashion retailer Boohoo.com sees its annual profits nearly double  Online fashion retailer, AIM, Boohoo.com PLC, annual profits, nearly double, robust demand, home market, overseas, Mahmud Kamani Carol Kane, joint CEOs, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal brands    online-fashion-retailer-boohoocom-sees-its-annual-profits-nearly-double-176905.html    <p> Online fashion retailer <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BOO/Boohoo.com/" rel="8392">Boohoo.com</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BOO/Boohoo.com/" rel="8392">LON:BOO</a>) has seen its annual profits nearly double, driven by robust demand in its home market and overseas, particularly in the United States.</p> <p> The AIM-listed firm said its pre-tax profit leapt by 97% to £30.9mln in the year to February 28, up from £15.674mln a year earlier,&nbsp; and beating the consensus forecast for £28.7mln.</p> <p> The profit surge came as Boohoo’s revenue jumped by 51% to £294.6mln, up from £195.394mln.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, Boohoo’s joint CEOs, said: "It has been a momentous year for us, with strong results and the acquisitions of PrettyLittleThing on 3 January 2017 and the Nasty Gal brand on 28 February 2017.</p> <p> “Both brands have huge potential and the acquisitions represent a step change in the size, structure and operation of the group.”</p> <p> They added: “Trading in the first few weeks of the 2018 financial year has made a promising start and we are excited about the prospects of our development into a multi-branded business.</p> <p> “We expect group revenue growth approaching 50%(3) over 2017, which includes growth from the recent acquisitions,&nbsp; and a group EBITDA margin of approximately 10%."</p> <h3> Shares run into some profit-taking</h3> <p> In early trading, Boohoo shares ran into some profit-taking, however, dropping 3.4%, or 6.5p to 183.25p, with the stock having gained 14% over the past month and 35% in the year-to-date.</p> <p> In a note to clients, reiterating a ‘hold’ and 185p target price on the stock, analysts at Liberum Capital said: “Today’s results are the fifth time Boohoo has upgraded guidance.</p> <p> “Momentum is strong within the core business and the two recent deals provide further routes to market and additional sales growth.”</p> <p> However, they added: “We have commented that &gt;77x PE is pricing in faultless execution and with management stretch as our chief caution; Managing +50% sales growth, two bolt-on acquisitions, and supply chain investment is a lot.”</p> <p> <em>&nbsp;-- Adds share price, broker comment --</em></p>   Online fashion retailer Boohoo.com PLC has seen its annual profits nearly double, driven by robust demand in its home market and overseas, particularly in the United States. The AIM-listed firm said its pre-tax profit leapt by 97% to £30.9mln in the year to February 28, up from £15.674mln a year earlier, and beating the consensus forecast for £28.7mln.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176915  Petropavlovsk PLC 2017-04-26 09:35:00  2017-04-26 12:10:58  2017-04-26 09:46:26  Petropavlovsk returns to profit and emerges from "a period of introspection"  Petropavlovsk returns to profit and emerges from "a period of introspection"      petropavlovsk-returns-to-profit-and-emerges-from-a-period-of-introspection--176915.html    <p> Russian gold producer <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:POG/Petropavlovsk-PLC/" rel="766">Petropavlovsk PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:POG/Petropavlovsk-PLC/" rel="766">LON:POG</a>) returned to profitability in 2016, helped by the gold price rally and lower than projected cash costs.</p> <p> The company reported a profit before tax of US$31.7mln, compared to a loss of US$297.5mln the year before.</p> <p> Underlying earnings (EBITDA) improved to US$200.1mln in 2016 from US$172.8mln in 2015, despite revenue easing to US$540.7mln from US$599.9mln.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> Total attributable gold production in 2016 was 616,300 ounces, compared to 504,100 ounces the year before.</p> <p> Gold sold clocked in at 399,900 ounces, down from 481,900 ounces the preceding year.</p> <p> The average realised gold price rose to US$1,222 an ounce from US$1,178 in 2015.</p> <p> Total average cash costs fell to US$660 an ounce from US$749 the year before, while all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) improved to US$807 an ounce from US$874 a year earlier.</p> <p> This marked the fourth consecutive annual reduction in total cash costs and AISC representing a 35% reduction since 2013, due to cost optimisation measures and the positive effect of the Rouble's depreciation.</p> <h3> 2016 a transformational year</h3> <p> Chairman Peter Hambro was justified in calling 2016 a transformational year, as the company refinanced its debt and proceeded with several major production initiatives, including its <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/173129/petropavlovsk-set-for-significant-production-boost-from-pox-173129.html" target="_blank">pressure oxidation (POX) processing hub</a>.</p> <p> “Looking ahead the group is&nbsp;well positioned to execute on its long term corporate strategy and to create value through organic growth and delivering sustainable cash flow," Hambro declared.</p> <p> The group had forward contracts to sell 50,000 ounces (oz) of gold at an average price of US$1,303/oz as at the end of 2016, and 547,000 oz of gold at an average price of US$1,253/oz as at 26 April 2017.</p> <p> Net debt at the end of 2016 had narrowed to US$598.6mln from US$610mln a year earlier, paring the net debt to EBITDA ratio to 3.1.</p> <p> “It remains our intention to deliver a meaningful share of the cash flow to shareholders as soon as the debt burden is substantially reduced,” Hambro said in his chairman's statement.&nbsp;</p> <p> “The advent of our underground operations in the nearest future and that of our production from the refractory ores is scheduled to do this,” he added.</p> <p> As well as operating one of the largest gold mines in Russia, Petropavlovsk owns a 31% stake in <a href="http://www.ircgroup.com.hk/html/index.php" target="_blank">IRC Limited, a vertically integrated iron ore producer and developer</a> in the Russian Far East and North Eastern China.</p> <p> IRC's net loss in 2016 narrowed substantially to US$18.2mln from US$509.0mln, and Hambro was happy to reports that in the first quarter of 2017 the company was “a cash generative operation”.</p> <p> “With the development of our POX Hub and underground firmly underway, as we emerge from a period of introspection and optimistically look ahead, 2017 is set to be another pivotal building block towards achieving our vision of being a mid-tier producer of refractory and non-refractory ore from 2019,” predicted Pavel Maslovskiy, Petropavlovsk's chief executive officer.</p> <p> Shares in the company were up 4.3% at 7.61p in mid-morning trading.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3>   Russian gold producer Petropavlovsk returned to profitability in 2016, helped by the gold price rally and lower than projected cash costs. The company reported a profit before tax of US$31.7mln, compared to a loss of US$297.5mln the year before. Underlying EBITDA improved to US$200.1mln in 2016 from US$172.8mln in 2015, despite revenue easing to US$540.7mln from US$599.9mln.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
176916  Rockhopper Exploration Plc 2017-04-26 09:28:00  2017-04-26 12:22:39  2017-04-26 10:09:23  Rockhopper Exploration starts new Egypt exploration well  Rockhopper Exploration starts new Egypt exploration well      rockhopper-exploration-starts-new-egypt-exploration-well-176916.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RKH/Rockhopper-Exploration-Plc/" rel="872">Rockhopper Exploration Plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RKH/Rockhopper-Exploration-Plc/" rel="872">LON:RKH</a>) has kicked off a new drill programme in Egypt alongside partner Kuwait Energy.</p> <p> The Al Jahraa SE-2X exploration well, on the Abu Sennan Concession, was spudded on Wednesday April 25. It is the first of two wells planned by Kuwait Energy.</p> <p> Rockhopper has a 22% stake in the Al Jahraa well which is targeting the Cretaceous Abu Roash-C reservoir in a location immediate of the &nbsp;Al Jahraa South East discovery location. The company said that the well could add 20mln barrels of in-place oil to the project, if it is successful.</p> <h3> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/members/signup">CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news</a></h3> <p> "We are pleased to start this drilling campaign on our Egyptian acreage and hope it will enable us to build further on our local production and resource base,” said Sam Moody, Rockhopper chief executive.</p> <p> “We look forward to updating the market on progress in due course."</p> <p> The programme of drilling and evaluation is expected to take 40 days, and the well could potentially be immediately completed as a production well.</p> <p> Once the programme is complete, the rig will move on to the Al Jahraa-9 location for a development well.</p> <p> Kuwait Energy is also proposing a two well work-over programme which is due to take place during the second quarter.</p>   Rockhopper Exploration has kicked off a new drill programme in Egypt alongside partner Kuwait Energy. The Al Jahraa SE-2X exploration well, on the Abu Sennan Concession, was spudded on Wednesday April 25. It is the first of two wells planned by Kuwait Energy.  NEWS          View Edit Delete

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