Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LON:AAZ) shares advanced 11.7% to 47.50p in Thursday afternoon trading after saying it would conduct an airborne geophysical survey over its Gedabek contract area in Azerbaijan.
The company, which is looking to identify a pipeline of new gold and copper targets to boost its production profile, said the survey will cover the entire 300 square kilometre area.
The survey will be carried out by Canadian firm Geotech Limited and is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
The company, which makes plastic water saving products for cleaning, laundry, tanning and garment finishing markets, also posted an adjusted loss of £11.6mln for the first half, compared to a loss of £13.2mln last year.
Total income rose to £1.9mln from £1.1mln, driven by growth in service income and machine sales.
Creo Medical and Nektan on the front foot while redT energy shares edge lower
Creo Medical Group PLC (LON:CRO) motored 10.75%, or 18.00p higher to 185.50p after the medical device company announced the successful first use of its Speedboat endoscopic advanced energy device in seven upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract patients in South Africa.
Speedboat is the first device developed for use with the Welsh company's CROMA generator, which allows doctors to carry out surgical procedures without the need to puncture the skin.
Craig Gulliford, Creo's chief executive officer, said: "This is a double first for Creo. The use of our lead product, Speedboat, in upper GI procedures and in a clinical setting outside of the UK is a key step in the commercialisation of our technology”.
Nektan PLC (LON:NKTN) shares are up 10.8% to 20.50p after the gambling software and services provider said its Evolve white label platform helped deliver record revenues for The Sun Play, the online slots site from News UK.
The company said through its platform, the site achieved a 47% year-on-year increase in net gaming revenue (NGR) to £1.8mln.
Nektan manages the entire operation of the site, TheSunPlay.co.uk, on behalf of News UK, including customer support, regulatory approvals, licensing, games content, and payment processing.
redT energy PLC (LON:RED) shares dipped 4.35% to 8.8p after it posted a wider first-half loss.
The energy storage company said it posted a trading loss of £5.4mln for the first six months of the year, compared to £2.8mln last year. The operating loss from continuing operations grew to £5.7mln from £3.1mln.
Revenue from continuing operations rose 33% to £1.2mln. mainly due to the residual Camco consulting business.
Bushveld Minerals shares jump as it increases interest in Vametco in 'very good deal'
Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) shares gained as it increased its indirect interest in the Vametco mine in South Africa in what analysts described as “very good deal”.
The company bought a 21.22% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation (SMC), an intermediate holding company of vanadium producer Vametco Alloys Proprietary Limited, from Sojitz Noble Alloys. Bushveld now owns 100% of SMC.
SMC owns 75% of Vametco, so Bushveld’s stake in the vanadium group is also now 75% compared to 59.1% previously.
Bushveld will pay Sojitz US$20mln for its 21.2% share in SMC, which values the venture at US$94mln in total.
Analysts at Shore Capital said US$20mln is a “very good deal at first glance”.
“We have not yet attempted to value Vametco, but very simplistically, Bushveld’s circa £210mln market cap would have implied a value for 100% of c.US$463m (ignoring cash and other assets and liabilities), or c.US$98m for Sojitz’s 21.22% interest,” they said.
Shares are up 15% to 22p in late morning trading.
Going the other way, Malvern International PLC (LON:MLVN) shares tumbled after the education company widened its first-half loss and warned that private education was a “volatile and competitive business”.
The company, whose partners include the University of East London, the London School of Business and Management and the University of Wales, posted a loss before tax of £370,000 for the six months to June 30, compared to a loss of £395,000 last year.
Revenue increased to £2.61mln from £1.65mln a year ago as improvements in its London and Singapore divisions offset a decline in the Malaysia business.
Shares fell 19.4% to 6.2p in morning trading.
Retail shares tank after John Lewis earnings highlight 'challenging times' for market
Retail shares were under pressure on Thursday as disappointing first-half results from John Lewis Partnership underlined the struggles facing the high street.
John Lewis, the owner of the department store chain of the same name and Waitrose supermarkets, posted a near 99% plunge in first-half profits as it battled to match heavily discounted prices by rivals and took a hit from higher costs related to IT and store openings.
Chairman Charlie Mayfield said: “These are challenging times in retail,” and added that uncertainty facing consumers and the economy, in part due to ongoing Brexit negotiations, made it difficult to forecast trading for the next six months. But the company continues to expect full-year profit to be “substantially lower” than last year.
Investors were also digesting first-half earnings from FTSE 100-listed WM Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW).
Morrisons shares fell 1% to 263p despite hiking its interim dividend by 132% and reporting a strong set of first-half profits and sales. Analysts said the figures were distorted by the World Cup and warm weather, which boosted sales in the second half.
“The question now is where can Morrisons go from here? There remains some intense pressure from discounters, whilst Tesco has lately announced its own discount chain aimed at countering the German upstarts. Further pressure on margins seems inevitable,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.
Debenhams PLC (LON:DEB) shares were down 4.5% to 12.79p after Sports Direct International PLC (LON:DEB) ruled out a bid for the struggling department store chain, in which it already owns a 29.7% stake.
Sports Direct bought House of Fraser last month after the department store chain went into administration.
“The reason for widespread weakness (admittedly on a flat-to-down day for the FTSE), may be more to do with negative read-across from John Lewis (not listed but important high street barometer),” said Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets.
Proactive news headlines:
Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) has strengthened its grip on South African vanadium producer Vametco. Through the purchase of the stake held by Sojitz Noble Alloys, Bushveld has increased its interest in Strategic Minerals Corporation (SMC) to 100%.
Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:ECO, CVE: EOG) announced that Total has now exercised its option to acquire a 25% stake in the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana. Total joins the exploration venture alongside operator Tullow Oil PLC (LON:TLW), owning 60%, and Eco which will retain a 15% interest.
Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) told investors it has now completed all offshore installation works planned for the 2018 schedule, and the Lancaster early production system remains on-track for first oil in the first half of 2019. The UK offshore oil field developer, in a statement, said that the installation of the subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (or ‘SURF’) infrastructure had been successfully completed.
Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) chief executive James Parsons told investors that the explorer is now ready for its next “potentially transformational” phase of drilling. This morning, in its interim results statement, Sound detailed its operational progress onshore Morocco which in the first six months of 2018 saw the company advance its two-pronged strategy to develop existing discoveries at Tendrara whilst also undertake high impact exploration in the surrounding areas.
SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited (LON:SAE) has unveiled the design for its new AR2000 2.0-megawatt tidal power turbine system which includes the largest and most powerful single axis turbine available on the commercial market.
Metminco Limited (LON:MNC) (ASX:MNC) has said it expects to make an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising and acquisition by Monday 17 September. As a result, the mining group said, trading in its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange was temporarily suspended from today, and the stock will also be suspended from trading on AIM with immediate effect as the acquisition target is neither a listed company nor an AIM company. In a separate statement, Metminco also announced its half-yearly report for the period to June 30th 2018, showing a pre-tax loss of US$5.598mln, down from a US$30.727mln loss at the same stage in 2017, which had included a US$27.165mln asset sale loss.
Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) is to carry out an airborne geophysical survey over its Gedabek contract area in Azerbaijan as it looks to identify a pipeline of new gold and copper targets.
Challenger Acquisitions Limited (LON:CHAL) has announced updates on its various projects, including the development of the New York Wheel and The Odyssey in Dallas. The company also announced that it has received the first £35,000 of the loan repayment from Star Sanctum ahead of the scheduled 30 September deadline.
Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) (USOTC:SMCDY) said that, further to its announcement on 3 September, it has now exchanged contracts to sell to ASX-listed Great Southern Mining Ltd (GSN). certain tenements identified as gold targets, currently owned by its wholly owned subsidiary, Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd (CARE). The mineral company, which is actively developing projects prospective for battery materials, said it has received a non-refundable deposit of A$50,000 for the sale.
Kavango Resources PLC (LON:KAV) has started an airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey at its KSZ Project in southwest Botswana. Canadian firm Geotech is carrying out the VTEM survey over the Kalahari Suture Zone.
Chaarat Gold Ltd (LON:CGH) has announced that the first phase of the fundraise announced on 28 August has now successfully closed as anticipated. The AIM-listed exploration and development company with assets in the Kyrgyz Republic said the second phase of the fundraise, also announced on 28 August, is ongoing and is expected to close by the end of September/early October 2018.
Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX), a global healthcare and life science company supporting medical innovation, announced yesterday that industry veteran Arthur Pappas has been appointed as non-executive director of the company. The group also announced that David U’Prichard is retiring from the board, effective immediately.
Cradle Arc PLC (LON:CRA), the African-focused base and precious metals exploration and production company, announced yesterday that Tamesis Partners LLP has resigned as the company's joint broker with immediate effect. Accordingly, it added, SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP is now the company's sole broker. The group said it is continuing to evaluate the company's broking options and a further announcement will be made in the coming months.