CML Microsystems PLC (LON:CML) shares grew 10% to 467.50p after the manufacturer of radio frequency semiconductors said gross revenue in the first half will be “significantly” ahead of the previous year.
The company, which develops semiconductors for the industrial storage and communications markets, said trading in the first six months of the year has been “pleasing”.
“Gross revenue and draft operating results are in line with expectations and significantly ahead of the prior year corresponding period,” it said.
McDowall has more than 40 years of experience in the banking, securities and investment business, with companies including Merrill Lynch, Pru-Bache and Singer and Friedlander.
PCG’s chairman Richard Poulden said McDowall’s experience will “help support further diversification and strengthening of PCGE's position for growth".
Omega Diagnostics Group Plc (LON:ODX) shares dropped 5.75% to 20.50p as the medical diagnostics company reported a 4% increase in first half turnover to £7.1mln but highlighted issues in its allergy and autoimmune business.
The group delivered revenue growth across all its divisions apart from the allergy and autoimmune arm, which declined 11% at constant exchange rates.
Omega said a “significant amount” of above-average rainfall in July was a contributing factor to the revenue fall in the business but is expecting a better performance in the second half of the year.
2.40pm: Gear4Music shares fall, Tlou Energy edges higher
Gear4Music Holdings PLC (LON:G4M) shares fell 3.88% to 781p after saying external parties have reviewed certain information in its half year results following a distribution error by a third-party research provider.
Subsequently the online musical instruments retailer has published its results for the six months to 31 August 2017 before the scheduled date of 24 October.
It reported a 44% year-on-year increase in revenue to £31.2mln, driven by international sales growth, rising website traffic and improving conversion rates. Gross profit increased 36% to £7.8mln.
“As highlighted in previous announcements, we expected increased operational costs and investment in our customer proposition to restrict profitability during H1, but we are well prepared for a busy seasonal period and group continues to trade in line with the board's expectations for the full year,” said chief executive Andrew Wass.
Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) shares edged higher after a well-received quarterly trading operational report.
The company said during the period a mining licence was granted over the company’s project area and it submitted a gas-to-power proposal to the government of Botswana.
It also said development financing negotiations are ongoing with various interested parties, locally and internationally.
A seismic survey is underway covering the Lesedi and Mamba project areas, it added.
Shares increased 9.72% to 9.88p.
12.40pm: Johnston Press under the cosh amid dispute with activist investor
Ager-Hanssen, who has been trying to oust chairman Camilla Rhodes and the company’s senior management, was forced to delay a call for an extraordinary general meeting after advisers discovered a so-called “dead hand proxy” in bond documents that could see the control of the newspaper handed over to its lenders.
The terms of a dead hand proxy, which was put into the company’s bondholder agreements when it last refinanced its £220mln debt pile three years ago, can trigger a default if shareholders step in to appoint new directors.
Ager-Hanssen’s plans would mean Johnston Press would have had to repay its bondholders immediately, which the struggling company is currently not in a position to do so lenders would gain control of Johnston Press and shareholders would be wiped out.
Shares in the publisher of The Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post fell 18.11% to 13p.
The company said trading in the first six months of the current financial year has started “satisfactorily” and in line with market expectations after achieving a record number of contract wins and extensions.
Investment in engineering, sales and marketing helped the group to secure new contracts with Intelematics, Calor Gas and Mecalac and contract extensions with Iceland Foods, Shell, Young Marmalade and Direct Line Group.
Revenues rose 12% to £14.74mln from the same period a year ago. Trakm8 also slashed net debt to £2.31mln at the end of September from £4.40mln in the first half of last year.
11.00am: Solid State and Pendragon shares slide on profit warnings
The group, which also supplies antenna and battery power products, said overheads increased on the back of investments to drive organic growth and improve margins.
Changes in the product mix and an increased proportion of distribution sales saw gross margin fall to 28% in the first half to 30 September from 30% last year.
Shares dropped 11.85% to 423.11p in morning trading.
Joining today's long list of companies to issue a profit warning was UK car dealer Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG).
It expects profits to fall by around 20% this year, blaming declining demand for new vehicles and lower prices of second-hand cars for its weak performance so far in 2017.
The Evans Halshaw and Stratstone owner notched up an underlying pre-tax profit of just over £75mln last year, but it expects that figure to be closer to £60mln this time around.
Shares fell 16.38% to 24.25p.
The company said the total length drilled amounts to 3,316 metres and three holes contained multiple intersections, including 3.57 metres at 1.61% lithium oxide (Li2O), 5.27metres at 1.45% Li2O.
Shares rose 15.38% to 0.38p.
9.30am: Profit warnings knock shares in Real Good Food and Dialight
Underlying profits [EBITDA] for the year to March are expected to be well below the £6.5mln estimated previously and overall there will be a pre-tax loss for the year.
Revenue in the first half rose 13% on a like-for-like basis but the cake decoration and bakery group said good sales growth recently has not translated into better profits.
Shares in the LED lighting technology company fell 19.02% to 660p as it said it now expects underlying earnings (EBIT) for the year to 31 December 2017 to be between £13.2mln and £15.5mln due to production challenges.
“Our outsourced manufacturing challenges are disappointing but are being addressed over the coming months,” said chief executive Michale Sutsko.
In contrast, Caspian Sunrise PLC (LON:CASP) shares surged more than 80% after the oil and gas company announced successful drilling results at its Deep Well A5 at its flagship BNG Contract Area in Kazakhstan.
The group, which owns a 99% stake in the BNG Contract Area, said the side-track of the Deep Well A5 has been drilled and completed without incident and initial flow rates were about 3,500 barrels of oil per day using an 11mm choke.
The well flowed without interruption for four hours and without artificial stimulation before it was shut in pending the arrival on site of additional high pressure testing equipment.
Caspian also said drilling at Well 146 has reached a depth of 1,732 metres without incident. The next step is to run and cement 9-5/8 inch casing. The company expects to reach a total depth of 2,500 metres in November and estimates the cost of the well at US$1.5mln.
Shares jumped 81.42% to 15.88p in morning trading.
Joint venture company, Kabwe Operations, will be set up and appointed operator of the project. Kabwe will be assigned all intellectual property developed for the execution of the project and will have the right to fund and execute the project on behalf of BMR.
Shares in BMR rose 17.24% to 4.25p.
Proactive news headlines:
Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) has completed 21 holes of drilling on the Zulu lithium project in Zimbabwe. Three holes have delivered multiple high grade intercepts, with further assay results pending.
Drug developer Ergomed Plc (LON:ERGO) has told investors that it has successfully completed the phase II clinical trial of its PeproStat blood thickening agent. The AIM-listed company said the coagulant met the primary endpoint over standard of care (SOC) in time to haemostasis – i.e. it stopped the flow of blood quicker than current treatments – with “statistical significance” in all surgery types tested.
ANGLE PLC’s (LON:AGL) Parsortix liquid biopsy system has successfully harvested disseminated tumour cells from bone marrow in a study of breast cancer patients in Germany.
Satellite Solutions Worldwide Group PLC (LON:SAT) has completed the fixed wireless broadband project in Sør-Trøndelag, Norway, ahead of schedule.
Speciality pharma business Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) has taken another step towards becoming the ‘go to’ global supplier of unlicensed medicines. The company has snapped up International Medical Management Corporation – Japan’s largest supplier of unlicensed medicines – for an undisclosed sum.
PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) has received independent confirmation that the syngas produced from its ultra-high temperature waste-to-energy system can be cleaned up into almost pure hydrogen.
Real Good Food PLC (LON:RGD) has warned turning the business around will take longer than expected. Good sales growth recently has not translated into better profits said the cake decoration and bakery group.
Cancer treatment group Nanobiotix (EPA:NANO) has completed the recruitment of patients for its Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma. The last patients are expected to start their treatment in two to three weeks with results from the trial scheduled for the first half of 2018.
Eland Oil & Gas PLC (LON:ELA) has completed its latest drilling operation at the Opuama field, in Niger, where a side-track to the Opuama-7 well has unearthed a total of 77 feet of good quality net oil pay. It has perforated some 60 feet of pay in the side-track and the well is now being hooked up for production, which will start imminently.
Having secured shareholder approval at a general meeting on 20 October, Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) will spin out its tin assets into a new vehicle called AfriTin, which will list on Aim via an IPO. The plan is to raise £2mln in a placing of shares. AfriTin will be London's only pure-play tin company.
KEFI Minerals plc (LON:KEFI) has been awarded an exploration concession in the wider area around its Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia, once development work at Tulu Kapi gets underway. KEFI's chairman Harry Anagnostaras-Adams said the area was highly prospective.
Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU) produced 3,762 ounces of gold and just under 16,000 ounces of silver in the quarter to the end of September, taking total production to date to 5,691 ounces of gold and 30,504 ounces of silver. Gross income for the quarter was US$5.50mln.
Jubilee Platinum PLC (LON:JLP) has unveiled a new joint venture tie-up with BMR Group in which the partners will target the recovery of lead, zinc and vanadium at the Kabwe project in Zambia. A joint venture agreement sees the partners pool their resources to ‘bring the project to account’, with the companies aiming to deliver commercial production of lead and zinc in 2018.
Shares in African Potash (NEX:AFPO) are set to resume trading on the NEX shortly, after the company released its audited annual report and accounts for the year to 30 June 2017.