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166546  Merlin Entertainments 2016-09-27 14:29:00  2016-09-27 14:42:36  2016-09-27 14:42:36  Merlin Entertainments fined £5mln for Alton Towers roller coaster crash  Merlin Entertainments fined £5mln for Alton Towers roller coaster crash      merlin-entertainments-fined-5mln-for-alton-towers-roller-coaster-crash-166546.html    <p> Theme park operator <a href="-##!##-/LON:MERL/Merlin-Entertainments/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="8319">Merlin Entertainments</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:MER/Mears-Group-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="613">LON:MER</a>) has been fined £5mln for the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers that saw sixteen people injured in June last year.</p> <p> The crash on the £18mln ride resulted in two teenagers needing leg amputations.</p> <p> Victims told Stafford Crown Court how they watched in “horror” before they ploughed into an empty carriage that had stopped on the track midway around the 14-loop ride. Prosecution likened the impact to a 90mph car crash.</p> <p> The court heard that an engineer “felt pressured” to get the ride back into service after it developed a fault during a busy period.</p> <p> In April, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act.</p> <p> Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire, England, initially blamed the crash on human error, but prosecutors argued the fault was with the employer and not individuals.</p> <p> Judge Michael Chambers QC ruled the crash as a "catastrophic failure" and said human error was indeed not the cause.</p> <p> "This was a needless and avoidable accident in which those who were injured were lucky not to be killed,” said Chambers.</p> <p> Merlin chief executive Nick Varney stressed the firm was not an emotionless corporate entity.</p> <p> "In this context, the far greater punishment for all of us is knowing that on this occasion we let people down with devastating consequences," he said.</p> <p> "It is something we will never forget and it is something we are utterly determined will never be repeated."</p> <p> The Smiler rollercoaster was back up and running in March this year. It is described on the Alton Towers website as “the biggest ever investment for a ride at the resort” and promises “a complete physical and mental assault on riders”.</p>   Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MER) has been fined £5mln for the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers that saw sixteen people injured in June last year. The crash on the £18mln ride resulted in two teenagers needing leg amputations. Victims told Stafford Crown Court how they watched in “horror” before they ploughed into   NEWS        View Edit Delete
166526  MARKET MOVERS 2016-09-27 09:58:00  2016-09-27 14:07:11  2016-09-27 10:02:48  Risers & Fallers: Sareum, LPA Group, Universe ...  Risers & Fallers: Sareum, LPA Group, Universe ...  risers and fallers    risers-fallers-sareum-lpa-group-universe--166526.html    <h3> &nbsp;</h3> <p> Major share price movers in London at 1.45pm</p> <h3> RISERS</h3> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:SAR/Sareum-Holdings-Plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="885">Sareum Holdings Plc</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:SAR/Sareum-Holdings-Plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="885">LON:SAR</a>) up 124% to 1.4p. Cancer drug candidate has been licensed to&nbsp; <a href="-##!##-/NASDAQ:DNAI/ProNAi-Therapeutics/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="12612">ProNAi Therapeutics</a>. Sareum will receive US$1.9mln as an upfront payment and potential future milestone payments of up to US$88.4mln.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:LPA/LPA-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="587">LPA Group</a> PLC (:<a href="-##!##-/LON:LPA/LPA-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="587">LON:LPA</a>) up 17% to 143p. “Group had entered the year at a gallop and that these conditions had continued throughout the first half, LPA is now able to confirm that it is still galloping and that current market expectations for the year as a whole are likely to be exceeded.”</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:ECR/ECR-Minerals-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="625">ECR Minerals PLC</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:ECR/ECR-Minerals-PLC/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="625">LON:ECR</a>) up 10% to 0.006p. Junior explorer has repaid all of its convertible loan facility with financier Yorkville.</p> <h3> FALLERS</h3> <p> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><a href="-##!##-/LON:UNG/Universe-Group-plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="1049">Universe Group plc</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:UNG/Universe-Group-plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="1049">LON:UNG</a>) down 15% to 9.3p. Point of sale group said order deployments have been slower than expected and financial performance is slightly below expectations.</span></p> <p> Jiasen International Holdings Ltd (LON:JSI) down 8% to 3p. Trading conditions continued to be challenging, driven by slower economic growth and a weaker property development market in China.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:TMZ/Toumaz/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3810">Toumaz</a> Ltd (<a href="-##!##-/LON:TMZ/Toumaz/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3810">LON:TMZ</a>) down 5% to 2.85p. Digital audio group sees flat revenues at £13.7mln after a major bout of business chopping and changing.</p> <h3> Major share price movers in London at 9.45am&nbsp;</h3> <h3> RISERS</h3> <p> Immedia PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:IME/Immedia-Broadcasting-plc./" rel="461">LON:IME</a>) up 32% to 40.9p. In-store muzak group has signed a three-year contract with a major UK retailer.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:REDX/Redx-Pharma-Plc/" rel="10667">Redx Pharma Plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:REDX/Redx-Pharma-Plc/" rel="10667">LON:REDX</a>) up 14% to 58.2p. Biotech announces breakthrough that could lead to the first novel class of broad-spectrum antibiotics in 30 years.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BOIL/Baron-Oil/" rel="400">Baron Oil</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BOIL/Baron-Oil/" rel="400">LON:BOIL</a>) up 5% to 0.5p. Losses sharply reduced and oiler is upbeat on prospects for its joint venture in South East Asia.</p> <h3> FALLERS</h3> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CLTV/Cellcast-plc/" rel="186">Cellcast plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CLTV/Cellcast-plc/" rel="186">LON:CLTV</a>) down 17% to 2.38p. Interim profits and revenues at the interactive broadcaster fell and little sign of a short-term recovery says company.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:AN/Alternative-Networks/" rel="50">Alternative Networks</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:AN/Alternative-Networks/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="50">LON:AN</a>.) down 12% to 275.6p. Trading has been hurt by mobile roaming tariff and Brexit, said the internet telephony group.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:NMG/Noricum-Gold/" rel="3827">Noricum Gold</a> Ltd (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:NMG/Noricum-Gold/" rel="3827">LON:NMG</a>) down 7% to 0.13p. First half losses rise as junior moves towards first production at its operations in Georgia but no indication when that might be in the interims.</p>     REPORT            View Edit Delete
166541  Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc 2016-09-27 13:05:00  2016-09-27 13:17:50  2016-09-27 13:16:29  Europa boss Hugh Mackay is excited as Holmwood seeks to repeat Horse Hill's success  Europa boss Hugh Mackay is excited as Holmwood seeks to repeat Horse Hill's success      europa-boss-hugh-mackay-is-excited-as-holmwood-seeks-to-repeat-horse-hill-s-success-166541.html    <p> Europa Oil &amp; Gas Plc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:EOG/Europa-Oil-&amp;-Gas-(Holdings)-Plc/" rel="3682">LON:EOG</a>) chief executive Hugh Mackay has told Proactive Investors he is very excited about the Holmwood prospect, a Horse Hill lookalike in Southern England’s Weald basin.</p> <p> Mackay’s comments come as the group has unlocked £600,000 from a divestment of a small stake in the Wressle field, another new onshore UK discovery. The cash is already earmarked for Holmwood, where drilling is planned for 2017.</p> <p> Holmwood is just 12 kms due east of Horse Hill – or ‘Gatwick Gusher’ as some call it - and, according to the Europa boss, there’s reason to believe drilling next year could see a repeat success.</p> <p> Those following developments in the weald closely were mindful of the follow on potential being presented to Europa’s Holmwood prospect as the Horse Hill programme advanced and eventually delivered breakout success.</p> <p> By the time UKOG, Horse Hill’s largest stakeholder teamed up with Europa last June, the cat was well and truly out of the bag.</p> <p> Mackay, in an interview with Proactive Investors’ Stocktube, talked through the potential for similarly between Horse Hill and Holmwood.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VoTsXTIYWk4" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> “We can see a lot of technical read across from the Horse Hill success to Holmwood,” Mackay said.</p> <p> “And whilst we’re not going to adjust the prospective resources or the risks [ahead of drilling], we feel that Horse Hill is a very relevant well, there is good technical read across and it is certainly making us feel better about the prospect of finding hydrocarbons at Holmwood.</p> <p> He emphasised an excitement at the possibility that success in the Kimmeridge targets – those proved by the Horse Hill breakthrough – could confirm that zone as a “missed pay” in the UK’s Weald basin.</p> <p> It was Horse Hill’s Kimmeridge discovery that prompted a number of very large, headline grabbing estimates for the project. Third party analysis points to the potential for billions of barrels of oil to be in place through the basin, which spans a large portion of southern England.</p> <p> More wells are needed to prove the extent of these resources, as well as the commercial case – though another result like Horse Hill will further quieten the sceptics.</p>   Europa Oil & Gas boss Hugh Mackay told Proactive Investors he is very excited about the Holmwood prospect, a Horse Hill lookalike in Southern England’s Weald basin. Mackay’s comments come as the group has unlocked £600,000 from a divestment of a small stake in the Wressle field, another new onshore UK discovery. The cash is already earmarked for Holmwood, where drilling is planned for 2017.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
166542  Summit Therapeutics PLC 2016-09-27 12:58:00  2016-09-27 13:30:38  2016-09-27 13:18:01  Summit treatment nominated 'rare pediatric disease'   Summit treatment nominated 'rare pediatric disease'   rare pediatric disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, US, FDA, voucher    summit-treatment-nominated-rare-pediatric-disease--166542.html    <p> Summit Therapeutics (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SUMM/Summit-Therapeutics-PLC/" rel="962">LON:SUMM</a> NASDAQ:SMMT) has received its second drug designation in two days from the US Food and Drug Adminstration for ezutromid, a treatment for &nbsp;Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) .</p> <p> Having been granted fast track status yesterday, ezutromid has today been classified a 'rare pediatric disease'.</p> <p> "Rare Pediatric Disease designation builds upon the Fast Track and Orphan Drug designations which the FDA has already awarded to ezutromid," said Glyn Edwards, Summit’s chief executive.</p> <p> "We plan to leverage these regulatory advantages in the continued clinical development of ezutromid, which is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial called PhaseOut DMD, to bring ezutromid to patients in need as quickly as possible."</p> <p> The FDA defines 'rare pediatric disease' as a disease that primarily affects individuals aged from birth to 18 years and affects fewer than 200,000 persons in the US, he added.</p> <p> Through the rare pediatric disease designation, a sponsor of can receive a voucher that enables a priority review for another product.</p> <p> A priority drug approval review takes six months compared to ten months or longer for a standard approval review.</p> <p> The voucher can be sold or transferred and earlier this year Gilead acquired one from <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/CVE:GUD/Knight-Therapeutics/" rel="8493">Knight Therapeutics</a> for US$125mln though they have been sold for as much as US$350mln.</p> <p> The Priority Review Voucher is requested at the time of the marketing application and awarded upon approval of the product.</p> <p> Summit concedes it may not get a voucher as the programme is set to expire next month although itnotes the possibility it may be extended again by US politicians.</p> <p> DMD is a fatal disease that affects around 50,000 boys and young men globally and is caused by faults in the gene that encodes dystrophin, a protein that is essential for the healthy function of all muscles.</p> <p> Summit believes that as an utrophin modulator, ezutromid aid all patients with DMD, regardless of their underlying dystrophin gene mutation.</p>   "Rare Pediatric Disease designation builds upon the Fast Track and Orphan Drug designations which the FDA has already awarded to ezutromid," said Glyn Edwards, Summit’s chief executive. "We plan to leverage these regulatory advantages in the continued clinical development of ezutromid."  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
166538  Sareum Holdings Plc 2016-09-27 12:44:00  2016-09-27 15:54:56  2016-09-27 12:51:19  Sareum shares rocket after ProNAi Therapeutics licenses cancer drug  Sareum shares rocket after ProNAi Therapeutics licenses cancer drug          <p> Shares in <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SAR/Sareum-Holdings-Plc/" rel="885">Sareum Holdings PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SAR/Sareum-Holdings-Plc/" rel="885">LON:SAR</a>) rocketed over 150% after it announced its cancer drug candidate has been licensed to <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NASDAQ:DNAI/ProNAi-Therapeutics/" rel="12612">ProNAi Therapeutics</a>, Inc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NASDAQ:DNAI/ProNAi-Therapeutics/" rel="12612">NASDAQ:DNAI</a>).</p> <p> Under Sareum’s agreements with Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and the CRT Pioneer Fund, the drug discovery group will receive US$1.9mln as an up-front payment and potential future milestone payments of up to US$88.4mln, some of which will be paid within the next year.</p> <p> Sareum’s Chk1 Inhibitor CCT245737 (to be renamed PNT737) was originally developed in a research collaboration between the London Institute of Cancer Research, Sareum and CRT.</p> <p> The ChK1 or checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor is shown to prevent cancer cells from multiplying by attacking its faulty DNA, meaning the cancer self-destructs.</p> <p> The group sees potential for synergy between standard cancer therapies - such as radio- or chemotherapy - and checkpoint inhibitors as a combination therapy.</p> <p> “This is a major achievement for our lead candidate as well as for Sareum. Starting with the initial discovery, we have contributed financially and scientifically to the on-going development of the programme into clinical trials. The returns from this research investment will be realised in this licence agreement, validating our strategy and business model,” said chief executive Tim Mitchell.</p> <p> “ProNAi is in a strong position to further the development of PNT737 and plans to expand its development into the United States and with broader clinical studies. We look forward to reporting on their progress,” he added.</p> <p> "ProNAi has a world-class oncology development team and is well-capitalised, and we believe these studies and the ongoing development strategy for this drug are in excellent hands,” said Robert James of Sixth Element Capital LLP, managers of the CRT Pioneer Fund.</p> <p> Shares shot up 150% to a three-year high of 1.56p.&nbsp;</p>   Shares in Sareum Holdings Plc (LON:SAR) have rocketed over 150% after it announced its cancer drug candidate has been licensed to ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNAI). Under Sareum’s agreements with Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and the CRT Pioneer Fund, the drug discover group will receive US$1.9mln as an upfront payment and potential future milestone payments of up   ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
166537  TRENDING 2016-09-27 12:35:00  2016-09-27 13:15:59  2016-09-27 12:45:41  Trending: Thomas Cook talks Turkey  Trending: Thomas Cook talks Turkey      trending-thomas-cook-talks-turkey-166537.html    <p> Some of us were unaware there is a “dog travel” industry, but apparently there is.</p> <p> ‘Summer bookings disappoint at Thomas Cook as terror worries dog travel industry’ is the headline in financial web site of the year – not that we’re jealous – thisismoney.co.uk, and I think this might be an “eats shoots and leaves” issue in the headline writing department more than a story about package holidays for man’s best friend.</p> <p> Turkey holidays – that’s holidays to Turkey, not vacations taken by fowls getting in a last basting in the sun before Christmas – hit summer bookings at the travel firm.</p> <p> Turkey is a popular holiday destination for towel-throwing Germans, and the terrorist attacks and political disruption in the country that sits at the nexus of Europe and the Middle East have taken their toll on the country’s appeal to holiday makers, with the exception of Britons – <a href="-##!##-/LON:TCG/Thomas-Cook-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3512">Thomas Cook Group</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:TCG/Thomas-Cook-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3512">LON:TCG</a>) said bookings from the UK to Turkey were up 1% year-on-year.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> You know how Brexit was going to boost the staycation as Brits stayed at home? Thomas Cook's UK summer bookings abroad up 13%.</p> — Lucy Tobin (@lucytobin) <a href="https://twitter.com/lucytobin/status/780654881879257088">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> It’s an interesting fact that in every country bar one where Coca-Cola is sold, it is the number one selling fizzy drink.</p> <p> The one country where it is not dominant is Scotland, where A.G. Barr PLC’s (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BAG/AG-Barr/" rel="8330">LON:BAG</a>) Irn-Bru reigns supreme.</p> <p> The Scottish soft drinks maker, which also owns the Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin brands, is not happy about the government’s proposed soft drinks sugar tax, calling it “a punitive and unnecessary distortion to competition in the UK market, which will be very complex, expensive and difficult to implement”.</p> <p> To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies (ask your granddad), they would say that, wouldn’t they?</p> <p> The company makes an interesting point, however, when it notes that recently published official National Dietary and Nutritional Survey data shows that soft drinks are continuing to reduce their contribution of sugar to the UK diet, in stark contrast to many other food and drinks categories, where sugar contribution is increasing.&nbsp;</p> <p> “We have continued to reformulate and reduce sugar across our portfolio, as well as bringing new lower and no sugar products to the market. We continue to play our part in delivering the soft drinks industry-wide 5-year voluntary target of 20% calorie reduction by 2020, as well as being on track to have two thirds of our own portfolio lower or no sugar by 2018,” the company said.</p> <p> It looks like the campaign against sugary drinks is definitely having an effect, with the company announcing plans to cut its workforce by 10%.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> Irn-Bru maker <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BAG/AG-Barr/" rel="8330">AG Barr</a> to cut 10% of its workforce - Scottish Daily Record <a href="https://t.co/aqxCB3myaE">https://t.co/aqxCB3myaE</a></p> — Pensions Careers (@PensionsCareers) <a href="https://twitter.com/PensionsCareers/status/780696258616766465">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> You don’t hear the saying “safe as the Bank of England” as much these days as you used to, but you probably hear it a lot more than, say, “safe as <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:DB/Deutsche-Bank/" rel="7150">Deutsche Bank</a>”, as the Daily Mail reports, with a certain element of schadenfreude (not that it would use such an obviously foreign word), that the German bank’s shares have fallen to new historic lows.</p> <p> The bank has lost more than half its value in the past year as it struggles to cope with low interest rates and sluggish growth, the Mail reports.</p> <p> As we learnt in the previous decade, when one major bank gets in trouble, we all end up in trouble – and footing the bill.</p> <p> The German government has ruled out a bail-out – see Mandy Rice-Davies comment, above – but Holger Zschaepitz, senior editor of the financial desk and self-confessed market maniac at German newspaper Die Welt, notes that the five-year default probability for Deutsche has risen above 20%.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> <a href="-##!##-/NYSE:DB/Deutsche-Bank/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="7150">Deutsche Bank</a> rout deepens. 5y default probability jumps above 20%. <a href="https://t.co/hrdcFtDebz">pic.twitter.com/hrdcFtDebz</a></p> — Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) <a href="https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehner/status/780690186556600320">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> <span style="font-size: 14px;">Yikes!</span></p> <p> Or as they say in Germany – yikes!</p> <p> It’s almost enough to make you cancel that holiday to Turkey. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p>     REPORT            View Edit Delete
166535  Sovereign Mines of Africa 2016-09-27 12:00:00  2016-09-27 12:19:28  2016-09-27 12:19:28  Sovereign Mines of Africa shares soar on reversal talk  Sovereign Mines of Africa shares soar on reversal talk      sovereign-mines-of-africa-shares-soar-on-reversal-talk-166535.html    <p> Shares in <a href="-##!##-/LON:SMA/Sovereign-Mines-of-Africa/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3934">Sovereign Mines of Africa</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:SMA/Sovereign-Mines-of-Africa/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3934">LON:SMA</a>) jumped by nearly 10% to 0.58p in early trade in London after it said in interim results that a reverse takeover is now quite likely. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> This comes as a part of an ongoing strategic review being conducted chairman Giles Clarke and fellow director Rupert Fraser.</p> <p> The company’s Guinean assets are now carried on the books at nil value, and have both been the subject of interest from what Sovereign called “potential parties.”</p> <p> Post the period end Jeremy Sparrow was appointed to the board of directors, and in his chairman’s commentary Giles Clarke spoke of his hope that Sparrow’s “deep sector knowledge and expertise” would “add significant value.”</p> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>   Shares in Sovereign Mines of Africa PLC (LON:SMA) jumped by nearly 10% to 0.58p in early trade in London after it said in interim results that a reverse takeover is now quite likely. This comes as a part of an ongoing strategic review being conducted chairman Giles Clarke and fellow director Rupert Fraser.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166533  Baron Oil 2016-09-27 11:57:00  2016-09-27 12:12:01  2016-09-27 12:12:01  Baron Oil: Still some hope for a Peru well, but emphasis on “great opportunity” in SE Asia   Baron Oil: Still some hope for a Peru well, but emphasis on “great opportunity” in SE Asia       baron-oil-still-some-hope-for-a-peru-well-but-emphasis-on-great-opportunity-in-se-asia-166533.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:BOIL/Baron-Oil/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="400">Baron Oil</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:BOIL/Baron-Oil/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="400">LON:BOIL</a>) told investors it hopes to get a well drilled in Block XXI, in Peru, during 2017 albeit it admits the there is only a “relatively small” chance of it happening.</p> <p> The company said it is attempting to find a partner to share a major part of the drilling costs.</p> <p> It highlighted that Infrastrata, its partner in Northern Ireland, is continuing talks with third parties with a view to funding the next phase of their strategically important gas storage project.</p> <p> Following debt repayment arrangements executed over the summer Baron Oil retains an option to participate in the project via a 15% stake in Infrastrata Plc in return for £1.53mln before the end of March.</p> <p> Elsewhere, Baron Oil sees a “great opportunity” to open a new operation in South East Asia, via a joint venture, and it notes strong demand in the region for both oil and gas, as well as “clear support of governments to make exploration and production easy to achieve.</p> <p> Specifically, the firm is looking at gas opportunities and it notes that the participation of its regional partner SundaGas give Baron Oil the kind of head start that would otherwise take years to build.</p> <p> Financial results were in line with analyst expectations, with an operating loss of £183,000 reported for the six months to June 30, narrowed significantly from £973,000 in the same period of last year.</p> <p> No revenues were recorded for the period as the group’s operations in Colombia have ceased.</p> <p> At the end of June the company had £1.17mln of cash and equivalents.</p> <p> On AIM, Baron Oil shares were up 11.5% changing hands at 0.53p each.</p>   Baron Oil told investors it hopes to get a well drilled in Block XXI, in Peru, during 2017 albeit it admits the there is only a “relatively small” chance of it happening. The company said it is attempting to find a partner to share a major part of the drilling costs.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166531  Immedia Group plc. 2016-09-27 11:20:00  2016-09-27 11:44:44  2016-09-27 11:25:32  Immedia on song again as it clinches retail deal   Immedia on song again as it clinches retail deal       immedia-on-song-again-as-it-clinches-retail-deal-166531.html    <p> Immedia Group PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:IME/Immedia-Group-plc./" rel="461">LON:IME</a>), which provides streamed music programmes to retailers, was one of the morning’s smash hits as it revealed a big contract win.</p> <p> The company, led by former Radio One disc jockey Bruno Brookes, was being coy about the value of the contract, preferring to leave the market guessing over the size of the “significant” deal, and it was also coy about the identity of the customers, only revealing that it was a “major UK retailer”.</p> <p> It did reveal the contract will run for three years and pledged to reveal more details about the contract once allowed to do so by a client confidentiality agreement.</p> <p> The shares shot up 29% to 40p, having risen to 47p at one point – just 2p below the 52-week high. Shares have tripled so far this year, helped by strong uptake of the radio service it is offering to holders of the Subway fast food franchise.</p>   Immedia, which provides streamed music programmes to retailers, was one of the morning’s smash hits as it revealed a big contract win. The company was being coy about the value of the contract, preferring to leave the market guessing over the size of the “significant” deal, and it was also coy about the identity of the customers, only revealing that it was a “major UK retailer”.   NEWS          View Edit Delete
166534  Tethyan Resources 2016-09-27 11:01:00  2016-09-27 12:12:49  2016-09-27 12:12:49  Tethyan takes option over Serbian copper/gold prospect  Tethyan takes option over Serbian copper/gold prospect  copper, gold, Serbia, option, drilling, exploration    tethyan-takes-option-over-serbian-coppergold-prospect-166534.html    <p> AIM-listed junior <a href="-##!##-/LON:TETH/Tethyan-Resources/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="1035">Tethyan Resources</a> PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:TETH/Tethyan-Resources/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="1035">LON:TETH</a>) has taken an option over the Suva Ruda project in Serbia.</p> <p> The licence&nbsp;,170 km directly south of Belgrade and within the Raska ore district, comprises one exploration permit with a surface area of 87 sq km.</p> <p> Through the option Tethyan, which changed its name from Aurasian&nbsp;Minerals in July, &nbsp;can purchase 100% of the licence, or alternatively its current owner Deep Research, for €6mln cash plus mine construction costs.</p> <p> Tethyan for its part has to carry out 2,000m of drilling this year, 5,000m by the end of 2018 and complete a preliminary economic assessment within six years and a fuller study in year seven.</p> <p> It estimates the drill programme up until 2018 will cost £500,000.</p> <p> Suva Ruda is in an area historically mined for lead and zinc but Tethyan said little exploration for copper or gold has been undertaken.</p> <p> Two defined targets lie within the exploration licence: &nbsp;a high-grade lead and zinc veins on the edge of the Rudnitza porphyry and a well-defined porphyry dacite stock with significant copper and gold mineralisation, the 'Rudnitza' porphyry.</p> <p> Peter Mullens, Tethyan Resources’ chief executive, added: “The project is centred around a dacite porphyry stock with potential dimensions of 1.2 kilometers by 0.8 kilometers.</p> <p> “Within this zone of alteration several drill holes have intersected high-grade mineralisation with drill hole PDRC 04-04 bottoming in rock averaging 0.4% copper and 0.37 g/t gold.</p> <p> "The outcropping mineralisation indicates that we are very high in the porphyry system and Tethyan personnel believe there is every chance of high-grade mineralisation continuing at depth.</p> <p> “There is sufficient space within the alteration system to host a major porphyry copper-gold system."</p>   Peter Mullens, Tethyan Resources’ chief executive, added: “The project is centred around a dacite porphyry stock with potential dimensions of 1.2 kilometers by 0.8 kilometers. “Within this zone of alteration several drill holes have intersected high-grade mineralisation with drill hole PDRC 04-04 bottoming in rock averaging 0.4% copper and 0.37 g/t gold."  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166529  Range Resources Ltd 2016-09-27 10:53:00  2016-09-27 11:03:34  2016-09-27 11:03:34  Range Resources expects first oil from waterflooding by year end  Range Resources expects first oil from waterflooding by year end  oil. Trinidad, waterflood, Morne Diablo, Marcelle    range-resources-expects-first-oil-from-waterflooding-by-year-end-166529.html    <p> Trinidad-focused oil group Range Resources PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:RRL/Range-Resources-Ltd/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="843">LON:RRL</a>) has reported good progress with its waterflood programme at two of its fields.</p> <p> The aim is to increase the total oil recovery factor across its portfolio to over 30% over the next 8 years and to get daily production up to 2,500 barrels daily by next year.</p> <p> At Beach&nbsp;Marcelle, initial water injection has continued since May at an average combined rate of approximately 600 barrels of water per day (bpwd).</p> <p> To get production up to 1,600 bpd of oil, an injection rate of 11bwpd is required estimates Range and that will mean installation of a high pressure pipeline that requires permission from owners of land it crosses.</p> <p> Range expects to get the approvals and first production is expected early in &nbsp;2017.</p> <p> Oil should come earlier from Morne Diablo, the second field, where water injection is currently underway at 200 bpwd, but is set to rise to 3,000 bpwd. &nbsp;First oil production is expected by the end of this year.</p> <p> Range said it is also looking at additional areas in the South Quarry and Morne Diablo fields that &nbsp;could be suitable for waterflooding. &nbsp;</p> <p> Capital expenditure this year will be US$17mln and is fully funded by a US$50mln facility with LandOcean that has 720 days credit.</p> <p> House broker Cantor noted the share price has rallied in recent weeks as the market begins to recognise Range’s operational progress following a significant restructuring of the company.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>- updates for broker comment --</em></p>   House broker Cantor noted the share price has rallied in recent weeks as the market begins to recognise Range’s operational progress following a significant restructuring of the company. Capital expenditure this year will be US$17mln and is fully funded by a US$50mln facility with LandOcean that has 720 days credit.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166528  CloudTag Inc 2016-09-27 10:31:00  2016-09-27 10:35:39  2016-09-27 10:35:39  CloudTag shares rise after fund-raising  CloudTag shares rise after fund-raising      cloudtag-shares-rise-after-fund-raising-166528.html    <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:CTAG/CloudTag-Inc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="4106">CloudTag Inc</a> (<a href="-##!##-/LON:CTAG/CloudTag-Inc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="4106">LON:CTAG</a>) , the wearable well-being monitoring devices developer, is to raise £550,000 through a share issue.</p> <p> The shares are being issued at 15.5p, which was last night’s closing mid-market price.</p> <p> Funds raised will be used for general working capital purposes.</p> <p> It is the second time this month the company has issued shares; just over two weeks ago it raised £500,000 through the issue of shares at 11p a pop. In total, the company has raised around £3.5mln since April, as it prepares to do battle in the highly competitive wearable technology market.</p> <p> Last week the company hired Yuval Lange as the company’s new chief business development officer. Lange, who worked on the BT Sport launch and has more than 15 years of relevant experience, will primarily focus on strategic business-to-business (B2B) opportunities particularly in the UK and EU, as well as growing B2B operations in the USA alongside further new recruits.</p> <p> Shares in CloudTag were up 3.4% at 15.125p in mid-morning trading.</p>   CloudTag Inc (LON:CTAG) , the wearable well-being monitoring devices developer, is to raise £550,000 through a share issue. The shares are being issued at 15.5p, which was last night’s closing mid-market price. Funds raised will be used for general working capital purposes.   NEWS          View Edit Delete
166525  Card Factory 2016-09-27 09:14:00  2016-09-27 09:41:02  2016-09-27 09:39:56  Card Factory issues special dividend with Christmas in sight  Card Factory issues special dividend with Christmas in sight      card-factory-issues-special-dividend-with-christmas-in-sight-166525.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CARD/Card-Factory/" rel="13030">Card Factory</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CARD/Card-Factory/" rel="13030">LON:CARD</a>) secured its place as greetings card king of the high street as it reported a rise in revenue and profit, announcing a special dividend. &nbsp;</p> <p> In the first six months ended July, pre-tax profit rose 7.3% compared to last year at £27.6mln, on revenues of £169.2mln, up nearly 5%.</p> <p> The group upped its interim dividend 12% to 2.8p per share, with a special dividend of 15p per share. Shareholders saw a total return of £51.1mln.</p> <p> Since its IPO a little more than two years ago, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CARD/Card-Factory/" rel="13030">Card Factory</a> has returned around £163.8mln to shareholders.</p> <p> With a chain of over 850 UK stores, <a href="-##!##-/LON:CARD/Card-Factory/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="13030">Card Factory</a> retains the largest share of the specialist greetings cards and gifts market, focused on the value and mid-range segments of the UK high street.</p> <p> But the group said it has not been immune to the tribulations of other high street stores, and had noticed a material slowdown in the first half due to decreased footfall. However the group said it had seen encouraging continued growth in average spend.</p> <p> “Card Factory is the clear leader in its market, with a strong value proposition, a unique vertically integrated operating model, significant scale advantages, and superior margins.&nbsp; The potential for further growth, through like-for-like sales growth, further store roll-out and the full exploitation of our online channels, is exciting,” said chief executive Karen Hubbard.</p> <p> With the Christmas season in sight, the group said it enters the next quarter with confidence.</p> <p> The group said it expects to deliver full year underlying pre-tax profits within the range of analysts' current expectations of £80.9mln to £83.0mln.</p> <p> “We remain as convinced as ever of the strong growth prospects for the business, and of our ability to deliver further returns of surplus cash to shareholders over the medium term,” added Hubbard.</p> <p> Shares rose 2% to 308p.</p>   Card Factory PLC (LON:CARD) secured its place as greetings card king of the high street as it reported a rise in revenue and profit, announcing a special dividend. In the first six months ended July, pre-tax profit rose 7.3% compared to last year at £27.6mln, on revenues of £169.2mln, up nearly 5%.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166527  Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd 2016-09-27 09:01:00  2016-09-27 10:10:53  2016-09-27 10:10:53  Chaarat Gold raises £4.1mln as it looks to finalise bankable feasibility for Tulkubash mine  Chaarat Gold raises £4.1mln as it looks to finalise bankable feasibility for Tulkubash mine      chaarat-gold-raises-41mln-as-it-looks-to-finalise-bankable-feasibility-for-tulkubash-mine-166527.html    <p> Chaarat Gold Holdings Limited (<a href="-##!##-/LON:CGH/Chaarat-Gold-Holdings-Ltd/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="194">LON:CGH</a>) is raising £4.1mln of new capital to cover the costs of completing the bankable feasibility study for the Tulkubash heap leach gold project, in the Kyrgyz Republic.</p> <p> The oversubscribed share placing was well supported by the company’s directors – with both the incumbent and incoming chairmen and non-executive directors participating – and the company highlighted that dilution to existing shareholders was minimised as applications for stock were scaled back.</p> <p> Labro Investments, already a 25% shareholder, also participated in the placing as it is taking 41.7mln new shares and as a result will subsequently own a 31.7% stake.</p> <p> In total, Chaarat is issuing 78.84mln new shares at a price of 5.25p in the share sale.</p> <p> Dekel Golan, Chaarat chief executive, said: "The company set out to raise a modest amount of money in order to minimise dilution to shareholders.</p> <p> “We were pleased with the interest and support of our existing and new shareholders and the directors. On account of the interest shown, the placing was oversubscribed and orders were scaled back.</p> <p> “We appreciate the trust and support placed in us and will continue to do our best to justify it."</p> <p> Tulkubash is expected to be yield some 60,000 to 70,000 ounce per year once operational.</p> <p> The BFS is due to be completed by the end of next year, and it is anticipated that the permitting process in Kyrgyz will be substantially concluded in the third quarter of 2017.</p> <p> Presently, the capital cost of the mine is predicted in the range of US$80-100mln.</p> <p> Under the terms of Chaarat’s arrangement with China Nonferrous Metals International Mining (CNMIM) the company is required to offer the 8.23% shareholder the opportunity to subscribe for additional shares, so it can maintain its proportional equity holding in the company.</p> <p> CNMIM will have a period of 15 days to take up the option.</p>   Chaarat Gold is raising £4.1mln of new capital to cover the costs of completing the bankable feasibility study for the Tulkubash heap leach gold project, in the Kyrgyz Republic. The oversubscribed share placing was well supported by the company’s directors and the company highlighted that dilution to existing shareholders was minimised as applications for stock were scaled back.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
166524  ClearStar, Inc. 2016-09-27 08:54:00  2016-09-27 10:51:27  2016-09-27 09:28:36  ClearStar says positive momentum has carried into second half  ClearStar says positive momentum has carried into second half      clearstar-says-positive-momentum-has-carried-into-second-half-166524.html    <p> As it reported on a first half of growth, personnel background-checker ClearStar Inc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CLST/ClearStar,-Inc./" rel="10683">LON:CLST</a>) told investors that the positive momentum has continued.</p> <p> “With the growing demand for our services across all our divisions, the board remains confident of achieving sustained growth and of delivering value to shareholders," said Robert <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:VALE/Vale/" rel="4688">Vale</a>, ClearStart chief executive.</p> <p> ClearStar reported a 6% rise in revenue to US$8mln, from US$7.5mln in the same period of 2015, and said gross profit increased 10% to US$5mln, from US$4.5mln.</p> <p> Notably, gross margins improved 190 basis points to 62.4% compared to 60.5% in the first half of last year.</p> <p> The company told investors it had processed some 4mln screening services in the six months, up from 3.6mln a year ago, and it did checks for 25,000 users rather than the 23,000 in the first six months of last year.</p> <p> The group’s overall losses narrowed to US$300,000 as it reported a US$1mln increase in earnings (EBITDA) during the first six months of the year.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/NYSE:VALE/Vale/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="4688">Vale</a> said: “We achieved another period of growth as we added new clients and cross-sold services to existing clients.</p> <p> “Our Channel Partner and Consumer Reporting Agency clients continue to account for the majority of sales - whether this is for a background check or a drug screen delivered in the US or abroad.</p> <p> “However, we are greatly encouraged by the increasing revenues generated by Direct Services clients, which is our key growth engine.”</p> <p> Vale said the pick-up in direct services reflects “enhanced brand recognition”&nbsp; and the group’s investment in its sales team.</p> <p> "Looking ahead, the momentum achieved in the first half of the year has been sustained into the second half of 2016,” Vale said.</p> <p> “We are receiving significant interest in our recently-launched ClearID and ClearContact products, which are designed to cater for the increasingly casual and transitory nature of the labour market, and we expect Direct Services division revenues to grow in the second half over the first half.”</p> <p> He added: “The addition of clinical testing to our WebCCF technology is expected to drive sales in this area and is further testament to our ability to innovate.</p> <p> “As a result, we continue to believe the fundamentals of the business are sound and the strength of our offer is increasing.”</p>   As it reported on a first half of growth personel background-checker ClearStar Inc told investors that the positive momentum has carried into the remainder of the year. “With the growing demand for our services across all of our divisions, the board remains confident of achieving sustained growth and of delivering value to shareholders," said Robert Vale, ClearStart chief executive.  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
166523  MaxCyte 2016-09-27 08:44:00  2016-09-27 14:08:12  2016-09-27 09:24:04  Maxcyte revenues climb as big pharma seeks next generation of drugs  Maxcyte revenues climb as big pharma seeks next generation of drugs  cell engineering, cancer, results, losses,     maxcyte-revenues-climb-as-big-pharma-seeks-next-generation-of-drugs-166523.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MXCT/MaxCyte/" rel="14537">MaxCyte</a> Inc’s (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MXCT/MaxCyte/" rel="14537">LON:MXCT</a>) interim revenues picked up smartly as the specialist in cell engineering technology’s roster of big pharma customers upped their research spending.</p> <p> Revenues were US$5.5mln in the six months to June, a 30% increase and slightly ahead of a forecast in July.</p> <p> “We are trading in-line with expectations for the full year as both our partnered cell therapy and CARMA programs progress,” said Doug Doerfler, chief executive.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MXCT/MaxCyte/" rel="14537">MaxCyte</a>’s cell engineering tech is used by <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:AZN/AstraZeneca/">AstraZeneca</a>, Merck and Roche among others but it is also developing CARMA, its own proprietary platform to tackle cancer.</p> <p> At present, <a href="-##!##-/LON:MXCT/MaxCyte/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="14537">MaxCyte</a> is involved in more than 35 partnered programmes, with seven clinical trials underway using its technology.</p> <p> "As the convergence between gene editing technologies and immuno-oncology therapeutic advances, MaxCyte is poised to foster the next-generation of therapies," said Doerfler.</p> <p> Its cell engineering technology was being used to leverage cells for drug discovery, cells for biologics/vaccine development and manufacture and cells as drugs in immuno-oncology and gene editing, he added.</p> <p> Underlying losses dipped to US$0.8mln from US$0.9mln, but including a further US$500,000 invested in CARMA net losses rose to US$1.27mln (US$0.96mln).Cash at the half year was &nbsp;Cash at the period end of US$12.2mln.</p> <p> &nbsp;"Our IPO has also allowed us to advance CARMA, our exciting, new generation of immuno-oncology treatments, from incubation to pre-clinical work that is laying the foundation for an initial US regulatory submission that is expected to allow clinical trials to begin in 2017. “</p>   "Our IPO has also allowed us to advance CARMA, our exciting, new generation of immuno-oncology treatments, from incubation to pre-clinical work that is laying the foundation for an initial US regulatory submission that is expected to allow clinical trials to begin in 2017, “ said Doug Doerfler, chief executive.  NEWS        View Edit Delete
166521  AG Barr 2016-09-27 08:35:00  2016-09-27 09:28:14  2016-09-27 08:48:11  Anti-sugar trend sours revenue at AG Barr  Anti-sugar trend sours revenue at AG Barr  A.G. Barr plc, low sugar, sugar tax, PureCircle, Irn-Bru, Rubicon, soft drinks    anti-sugar-trend-sours-revenue-at-ag-barr-166521.html    <p> A.G. Barr plc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BAG/AG-Barr/" rel="8330">LON:BAG</a>) took a revenue hit from an anti-sugar drive but posted slightly sweeter first-half profits and a 5% dividend hike.</p> <p> The soft drink maker said lower and no-sugar products had done better as consumers respond to negative press around added sugar drinks in the last six months.</p> <p> It is reacting by developing new no added-sugar products including Irn-Bru Extra and Rubicon Spring, both of which have experienced good initial demand. Spring water volumes also increased 7%.</p> <p> "We expect these new introductions to our portfolio to make a material contribution to the business across the balance of the year," Barr said.</p> <p> The government's proposed introduction of a soft drink sugar tax hit Barr and rival <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BVIC/Britvic/" rel="3526">Britvic</a> Plc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BVIC/Britvic/" rel="3526">LON:BVIC</a>) when it was first announced.</p> <p> But the news boosted shares in companies like <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:PURE/PureCircle-Limited/" rel="830">PureCircle Limited</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:PURE/PureCircle-Limited/" rel="830">LON:PURE</a>), which has developed a natural sugar substitute from the stevia leaf.</p> <p> Barr said the planned tax was "a punitive and unnecessary distortion to competition in the UK market which will be very complex, expensive and difficult to implement.</p> <p> "We believe our positive actions and sugar reduction progress, along with those of many of our competitors within the soft drinks industry, make the implementation of a soft drinks only sugar tax an unnecessary measure," it said.</p> <p> Revenue in the six months to July 30 fell to £125.6mln from £130.3mln a year ago, but pre-tax profit on ordinary activities before one-off items was £17mln compared to £16.9mln beforehand.</p> <p> Pre-tax profit was £21.1mln including a one-off credit of £4.1mln, versus £16.9mln a year ago with no exceptional items.</p> <p> It proposed an interim dividend of 3.53p per share, up from 3.36p last time.</p> <p> Chief executive Roger White said: "We are beginning to see the benefits of our product development and innovation initiatives with both consumers and customers.</p> <p> "Market conditions remain volatile and somewhat unpredictable. However, assuming a strong trading performance in the key festive period, we remain on track to deliver pre-tax profit before exceptionals slightly ahead of last year."</p> <p> Shares in Barr fell 2p, or 0.4%, to 520.5p.</p>   Chief executive Roger White said: "We are beginning to see the benefits of our product development and innovation initiatives with both consumers and customers. "Market conditions remain volatile and somewhat unpredictable. However, assuming a strong trading performance in the key festive period, we remain on track to deliver pre-tax profit before exceptionals slightly ahead of last year."  ARTICLE            View Edit Delete
166520  Silence Therapeutics plc 2016-09-27 08:31:00  2016-09-27 08:34:11  2016-09-27 08:34:11  Silence looks to tap full potential   Silence looks to tap full potential       silence-looks-to-tap-full-potential-166520.html    <p> Silence Therapeutics PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:SLN/Silence-Therapeutics-plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="909">LON:SLN</a>) used the interim results to highlight the value of its portfolio and to flesh out its current clinical and pre-clinical strategy.</p> <p> Recent legal advice suggests the patents that protect its gene silencing technology “could represent a significant proportion of the current market capitalisation of the company".</p> <p> It said in the past six months it has obtained several “favourable legal opinions” indicating that multiple siRNA-based drugs currently in clinical development potentially fall within its patents.</p> <p> “Subsequently, the company has invited the relevant companies to enter licensing negotiations,” it added.</p> <p> Quark Pharmaceuticals licenced Silence’s technology to help develop drugs now in phase II and phase III clinical trials. The two are currently in arbitration over milestone payments owed to the UK firm.</p> <p> Silence said it will concentrate of combining (or conjugating) its short interfering RNA (siRNA) with <em>N</em>-Acetylgalactosamine, or GalNAc for short. Early studies suggest pairing significantly enhances uptake by the liver.</p> <p> Funds will directed a projects in GalNAc-siRNA&nbsp;field and CRISPR technology behind gene editing. At the end of June Silence was sitting on £47.6mln.</p> <p> Recent hires reflect the current R&amp;D emphasis.</p> <p> Talking about CRISPR it said “we believe that we can license or partner enabling technologies for larger players in the field”.</p> <p> In the interim results update the firm revealed it will seek a partner for its flagship cancer drug following the release earlier this year of results from its phase II clinical trial.</p> <p> It Atu027 tandem with traditional chemotherapy to treat patients with terminal pancreatic cancer.</p> <p> “Our goal is to progress Atu027 through a suitable partnership rather than using our balance sheet,” the gene silencing specialist said.</p> <p> As is common with companies at this formative stage of their evolution Silence was lossmaking. The deficit was £4.7mln.&nbsp;</p>   Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) used the interim results to highlight the value of its portfolio and to flesh out its current clinical and pre-clinical strategy. Recent legal advice suggests the patents that protect its gene silencing technology “could represent a significant proportion of the current market capitalisation of the company".  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166519  Savannah Petroleum PLC 2016-09-27 08:23:00  2016-09-27 10:45:26  2016-09-27 08:33:28  Savannah Petroleum sees “material step change” as Niger projects advance   Savannah Petroleum sees “material step change” as Niger projects advance       savannah-petroleum-sees-material-step-change-as-niger-projects-advance-166519.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SAVP/Savannah-Petroleum-PLC/" rel="8321">Savannah Petroleum PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SAVP/Savannah-Petroleum-PLC/" rel="8321">LON:SAVP</a>) is looking forward to achieving a ‘material step change’ in value following its recent capital raise, chief executive Andrew Knott highlighted in the explorer’s interim results.</p> <p> Niger-focused Savannah raised US$40mln in July through an oversubscribed share sale as it geared up for exploration in the field.</p> <p> Shortly afterwards the company began a large 3D seismic programme, to cover a 800 square-kilometre area of the R3 production sharing contract, with a view to detail 12 existing exploration targets and to identify new ones.</p> <p> The most recent ‘best estimates’ put the resource potential at around 2.1bn barrels, which was an upgrade from the prior 1.1bn estimates.</p> <p> A total of 118 exploration targets have been identified in the group’s Niger portfolio so far.</p> <p> Significantly, Savannah has now secured the necessary environmental authorisations for both seismic and drilling operations.</p> <p> It expects the R3 seismic programme to conclude in early 2017 and drilling also to follow in the first half of next year.</p> <p> The company expects to bring in a partner ahead of drilling, and in this morning’s statement it said talks with possible partners were continuing.</p> <p> Knott, in the statement, said: "Following our recent capital raise, Savannah is now funded for the next phase of seismic and drilling operations on our permit areas in Niger.</p> <p> “We believe our forward work programme is capable of delivering a material step change in value for our stakeholders, and ahead of this we look forward to welcoming our core stakeholders to Niger in November for our capital markets event, which we expect will provide a significant update."</p>   Savannah Petroleum is looking forward to delivering a ‘material step change’ in value following its recent capital raise, chief executive Andrew Knott highlighted in the explorer’s interim results statement. Niger focussed Savannah raised US$40mln in July through an oversubscribed share sale as it geared up for exploration in the field.  NEWS          View Edit Delete
166516  S & U Plc 2016-09-27 08:16:00  2016-09-27 10:31:08  2016-09-27 08:21:21  S & U keeps its motor running  S & U keeps its motor running      s-u-keeps-its-motor-running-166516.html    <p> Motor finance company <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SUS/S-%26amp%3B-U-Plc/" rel="3621">S &amp; U PLC</a>&nbsp;(<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SUS/S-&amp;-U-Plc/" rel="3621">LON:SUS</a>) kept its foot on the accelerator in the first half of the year, showing impressive growth.</p> <p> Profit before tax shot up 35% to £11.9mln from £8.8mln in the corresponding period of 2015 on the back of a 39% increase in revenue to £28.3mln from £20.4mln the year before.</p> <p> The half-year saw record amounts of motor finance loans at Advantage Finance, with advances to vehicle purchasers up 54% year-on-year.</p> <p> Motor finance collections and debt quality continue at near historical highs, the group revealed.</p> <ul> <li> <h3> Read the <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/109692/s-us-advantage-finance-trading-at-record-levels-109692.html" target="_blank">investment case for S &amp; U</a></h3> </li> <li> <h3> Watch <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/4815/s-u-plc-chief-says-business-is-showing-accelerated-growth-4815.html" target="_blank">chairman Anthony Coombs talk about the full-year results</a></h3> </li> </ul> <p> The group's strong treasury position has enabled it to invest a further £23.3mln in its Grimsby-based motor finance unit, Advantage Finance, where capital receivables from customers have reached £200mln for the first time.&nbsp;</p> <p> Despite this investment, group gearing remains at a historically low 29%, thus leaving significant headroom both to finance record levels of Advantage transaction growth, and the planned piloting of a new venture in the specialist property finance sector, as flagged up in the company’s most recent financial year-end statement.</p> <p> The company clearly has the cash to spare to reward shareholders, also, as it announced a whopping 20% increase in the interim dividend to 24p from 20p the year before.</p> <p> "A further half-year's successful trading and a robust financial position, provide a solid springboard for sustained growth in the year ahead," said Anthony Coombs, chairman of S &amp; U.</p> <p> Coombs has little time for doomsayers predicting (metaphorically speaking) the end of days following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.</p> <p> “Recent figures on the manufacturing and service sectors, economic growth generally and consumer confidence provide grounds for optimism. In particular, a buoyant new car market reflects a robust labour market and has resulted in excellent levels of demand for used vehicles,” the company interim results statement declared.&nbsp;</p> <p> Backing up this assertion S &amp; U said Advantage has seen a record level of applications, up 58% on last year, while August saw Advantage achieve the remarkable milestone of 100,000 finance deals throughout its history, indicating that the second half of the year has seen first half trends continue.</p> <p> Live customer numbers today exceed 40,000, over a third higher than last year. S &amp; U expects these trends will feed through to profit growth as collections quality continues at high levels.</p> <p> “Whilst our rolling 12 months impairment to revenue percentage has increased from 16.9% at 31 July 2015 to 17.7% at 31 July 2016, this slightly higher percentage is still consistent with the excellent quality we have experienced post-2008 and is within our expected outcomes,” the group said.</p> <p> Shares in S &amp; U rose 2.7% to 2,501.25 in early deals. The shares fell as low as 2,180p in the week following the Brexit vote but have been recovering steadily since.</p>   Motor finance company S & U kept its foot on the accelerator in the first half of the year, showing impressive growth. Profit before tax shot up 35% to £11.9mln from £8.8mln in the corresponding period of 2015 on the back of a 39% increase in revenue to £28.3mln from £20.4mln the year before. The half-year saw record amounts of motor finance loans at Advantage Finance.   ARTICLE            View Edit Delete

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