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Wilmington shares fall as it predicts low revenue growth

A look at some of the top risers and fallers in London on Friday
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Wilmington's shares fell 25% to 180.00p

Wilmington PLC (LON:WIL) shares plummeted 23.3% to 184.0p after the company predicted low revenue growth for the current financial year as underlying costs were expected to rise on inflationary pressures.

In a year-end trading update, the professional texts publishing firm said its pre-tax profits for the year just ended would be in line with market expectations despite revenue being lower than previously expected at £122mln as cost reduction measures offset the shortfall.

Elsewhere, shares in Acacia Mining PLC (LON:ACA) fell 8.5% to 122.20p after its production fell sharply again as the row with the Tanzanian government over unpaid royalties continued to simmer.

Group gold production for the quarter to June dropped 36% to 133,778 ounces as operations at two its three mines - Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi – were scaled back.

Peter Geleta, Acacia’s interim chief executive, said the group was on target to hit the top end of its 435,000-475,000oz forecast for 2018.

And shares in Alliance Pharma plc (LON:APH) rose 2.5% to 100.50p as the pharmaceutical company announced that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the UK Marketing Authorisation Application for Diclectin, a prescription product for the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.  

The AIM-listed firm also said that the MHRA has approved the brand name Xonvea, which will be used for marketing Dicelctin in the UK.

The company said it anticipates Xonvea’s launch in autumn this year as the only medicine licensed in the UK for the treatment of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

1.05pm: Condor Gold shares rise as it submits permitting approval for Mina La India

Shares in Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR) rose 5.7% to 37.00p after it submitted additional technical studies to the Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources in Nicaragua (MARENA) for permitting approval at Mina La India.

The AIM-listed firm said the submission of technical studies was in response to formal questions from the Ministry, following a site visit inspection to the re-designed mine site infrastructure on March 13.

Mark Child, chairman and chief executive of Condor, said: “I remain confident that Condor is close to receiving permitting approval for Mina La India, which is expected to produce approximately 80,000 oz gold per annum from a single open pit."

Elsewhere, ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) shares jumped 23.4% to 0.98p as the company gave details from its Blue Moon gold prospect in Central Victoria, in Australia.

Drilling is designed to confirm the presence of gold mineralisation, following up technical work which indicated potential for an extensive system.

Assay results “provide evidence of a significant near surface mineralised system” the company said in a statement, the large mineralised gold intercepts measured up to 39.5 metres located some 24 metres from the surface.

And shares in Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) rose 6.3% to 53.50p after the firm updated investors on the development of Lancaster’s early production system, where well completion operations have now concluded.

It said that both previously drilled production wells for the EPS are now ready to be tied-in to the subsea infrastructure.

"I'm pleased to report that we have concluded well completion operations safely, bringing us another step closer to first oil,” said Dr Robert Trice, Hurricane chief executive.

10.25am: Broker changes create some waves for ITV plc  and Direct Line PLC

Direct Line PLC (LON:DLG) is the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 after Barclays Capital downgraded its rating on the stock to ‘equal weight’ from ‘underweight’ and lowered its target price to 357p from 420p.

“In our view, Direct Line is well positioned for the current soft market environment through its diversification and prudent underwriting approach, as well as balance sheet reserves that should allow further reserve releases,” Barclays said in a note on UK motor insurance.

“However, as the most liquid stock in a sector dominated by a negative top-down view at present, Direct Line may find itself in an unfavourable position – despite defensive characteristics and attractive yield, investors either don’t have to own any of the motor insurers, or use DLG as an instrument to short the theme; therefore, we downgrade to equal weight.”

Shares in Direct Line are down 2.7% to 336p.

ITV PLC (LON:ITV) was the top blue chip gainer in mid-morning trading, up 3.8% to 179.65p, boosted by hopes for a viewing surge in the semi-final match if England makes it through the quarter-final against Sweden, and on reports of an upgrade in rating by Societe Generale.

Traders said the French broker has upped its stance on the commercial TV broadcaster to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ with a target price of 220p in a media note which also saw it downgrade its stance on newspaper publisher Daily Mail and General Trust PLC – down 1.7% to 744p – to ‘sell’.

Another mover on broker comment was Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF), which shed another 2.5% at 2,545p following a trading update on Thursday.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their target price for the Primark clothing chain to sugar and food conglomerate to 3,100p from 3,300p after cutting earnings forecasts but maintained a ‘buy’ on the stock.

9.15am: Volution shares jump as it acquires Finnish ventilation supplier Oy Pamon Ab 

Shares in Volution Group PLC (LON:FAN) jumped 2.5% to 204.00p in early morning trading, after it announced the acquisition of Oy Pamon Ab, a manufacturer and supplier of mechanical ventilation products primarily for the Finnish construction markets.

The FTSE SmallCap company said the acquisition will be on a debt-free, cash-free basis for an initial cash consideration of €11mln, payable from its existing cash and banking facilities.

Volution said a further deferred cash consideration of up to €2mln may be payable, contingent on Pamon’s earnings for the two years ending 30 November 2018 and 2019.

Elsewhere, FairFX Group PLC (LON:FFX) shares jumped 8.7% to 124.00p after the multicurrency payments and banking provider said it is confident of meeting expectations for its full-year as turnover in the first half exceeded £1bn.

The AIM-listed firm said in a trading statement that its turnover for the first half was up 146.2% at £1.1bn compared to the same period last year and in line with management expectations.

On a like-for-like (LFL) basis, excluding the Cardone Banking and City Forex acquisitions, turnover for the period was up 22.8% to £532.9mln while LFL turnover for prepaid cards and international payments rose 8.5% to £181.7mln and 39.1% to £334.6mln respectively.

And shares in Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) rose 1.9% to 51.30p after the company updated investors on the development of Lancaster’s early production system, where well completion operations have now concluded.

It said that both previously drilled production wells for the EPS are now ready to be tied-in to the subsea infrastructure.

"I'm pleased to report that we have concluded well completion operations safely, bringing us another step closer to first oil,” said Dr Robert Trice, Hurricane chief executive.

Other Proactive news headlines:

Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) told investors that the testing rig has now been mobilised for a hotly anticipated programme planned for the group’s newly drilled wells in Argentina. First, the rig is being moved to the ELM-1004 well (drilled and suspended in May) where it will spend between two and three weeks of testing.

PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) has raised £594,030 net of expenses via a placing and a share subscription at a price of 0.5p per share which it said will be used to further the company’s commercial activities.

Stobart Group PLC’s (LON:STOB) head of finance has stepped down ahead of a crucial vote at today’s AGM that will determine who runs the Southend Airport owner. Richard Laycock, chief financial officer and executive director, will not stand for re-election at the meeting and the company has started to look for a replacement.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) announced that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the UK Marketing Authorisation Application for Diclectin, a prescription product for the treatment of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Junior miner Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has appointed Mark Mabhudhu, a preeminent figure in the Zimbabwean diamond industry, to the board of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vast Resources Zimbabwe.

Range Resources Ltd (LON:RRL) has updated investors on operations at the Perlak project, in Indonesia, where it is advancing a programme of well workovers. The first reactivated well, POG-D, is continuing testing as production rates are being optimised – as previously reported, the well has flowed 145 barrels of high-quality light oil from one of the multiple production zones over intermittent pumping periods, over a total of 117 hours.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) announced late yesterday that Christian St. John-Dennis has resigned as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect, in order to focus on his other business interests. The miner also confirmed that it expects to release assay results at its Blue Moon project on Friday.

Feedback PLC (LON:FDBK), the specialist medical imaging technology company, announced that the company's joint brokers are now solely Allenby Capital Limited and Peterhouse Corporate Finance Ltd.

Wishbone Gold PLC (LON:WSBN), the precious metals trading and exploration company, said it will be presenting at the Shares Investor Evening on Tuesday 10 July at the Novotel London Tower Bridge, when its chairman and CEO Richard Poulden will give an overview of the company's strategy and its latest activities.


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