The group’s third quarter – the final three months of 2018 – saw trading performance in Asia fall below management’s expectations with the result that the group lost money in the period.
The losses wiped out the £186,000 profit before tax generated in the first half of the current fiscal year.
On the plus side, things have picked up a bit in 2019 with the group seeing an improved performance from all its offices with more client activity and contractor demands.
2.00pm: Panthera ponders pouncing on Burkina Faso gold project
The shares, languishing at 1.9p on Friday having been as high as 20.65p a year earlier, perked up and rose 10.5% to 2.1p on the announcement, proving that hope springs eternal among gold bugs.
The Labola gold project consists of a package of licences covering roughly 65 square kilometres. The area hosts two significant quartz vein structures that have been mined by artisanal miners over a strike at least a 9km in length.
Previous explorers have announced combined JORC and 43-101 compliant resources of more than 600,000 ounces averaging about 1.2 grams per tonne of gold.
Panthera covered itself by saying it believes these estimates require verification and accordingly, should only be considered as exploration targets.
12.15pm: Tonic for Filtronic
The designer and maker of antennae saw its shares rise by around a fifth after the company said it had appointed Quintel USA as its exclusive distributor in North America to a number of mobile network operators for various antenna products.
Furthermore, Filtronic has agreed in principle to work with Quintel’s parent company, Cirtek Holdings, in a number of areas ranging from product co-development through to manufacturing.
"This distribution agreement is an excellent opportunity for Filtronic to gain greater traction in the US market. We are delighted to be working with Quintel and we believe that we complement each other very well,” said Rob Smith, Filtronic’s chief executive officer.
“We are looking forward to working together in other areas and have already identified some interesting product co-development opportunities. Cirtek is a company that we have known for many years, their reputation for high-quality micro-electronics assembly, that includes mmWave capability, makes them an ideal marketing partner,” he added.
Shares in Filtronic were up 18%.
10.45am: Modern Water issues shares at a deep discount
Having closed at 8.1p on Friday, the shares fell to 6.65p after the company raised around £587,470 through a share placing at 6.5p a pop.
Existing shareholders face the prospect of more dilution as a result of the company also granting warrants over 6mln shares but at least these will be exercised – if they ever are – at 9.75p a time.
"We are delighted to receive additional support from new investors introduced by Turner Pope Investments,” said Simon Humphrey, the chief executive officer of Modern Water.
“The net funds will be applied towards working capital, in particular increasing specific inventory in the pursuit of additional contracts and we look forward to updating the market of such in the near term,” he continued.
“The company is looking to build on recent successes and momentum through a strategically placed regional office network and its partnership in China, which has already seen Sunup successfully commission the first AMBC pilot plant, using Modern Water technology, treating waste water from a power station," Humphrey said.
9.30am: MOD Resources up after bid approach; Keystone Law raises profit guidance
MOD Resources Limited (LON:MOD, ASX:MOD) opened sharply higher in London on Monday after it received an unsolicited bid approach.
The company, which listed in London – sadly, its head office is not in Carnaby Street – said that Sandfire Resources NL (ASX:SFR) had made a non-binding indicative offer of 38 Australian cents a share.
In Australia, the shares currently trade at 22 cents a share but the board of MOD are still of the view that the offer “undervalues MOD’s unique and extensive assets”.
Nevertheless, it has committed to continue talking to Sandfire.
It listed in London to raise awareness of its Botswana copper assets but judging by the board’s reaction to the bid approach, it might have been a bit too successful in advertising its wares.
In the meantime, the company has raised A$10mln through a placing of shares and A$5mln through a rights issue at 24 cents a share.
MOD shares were up 50% to 21p in London.
Keystone Law Group (LON:KEYS), which describes itself as a “challenger law firm” - aren’t all law firms challengers? - rose 11.8% to 380p after it said it expects to report growth in the current financial year to 31 January that is comfortably ahead of current market expectations.
The company said it continued to trade strongly through the second half of the year.
“I am delighted with the progress the Group has made in our first full year on AIM,” said James Knight, the chief executive officer of Keystone.
“Our distinctive platform model has successfully attracted a significant number of new, high-quality lawyers which has helped us scale the business. This impressive growth coupled with the excellent performance and hard work of our lawyers means that we are confident that we will comfortably beat market expectations,” he added.
Proactive news headlines:
Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) said it had received the regulatory green light to re-commence its Phase I/II clinical trial of RXC004 on people with solid tumours. It means the company is on track to restart the study as planned in the first-half.
Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has revealed the results of bulk sampling from the Kizilcukur vein 22 kilometres north of the Kiziltepe mine. Around 22 tonnes of material were sampled, and returned grades of 4.22 grams per tonne gold and 284 grams silver.
Victoria Oil & Gas PLC (LON:VOG) told investors that its power generation customer ENEO has now doubled its consumption levels, following December’s gas sales deal, and, its power station is in operation at full capacity at 30 megawatts. Gas consumption has recently exceeded the ‘take or pay’ level of 4.88mln cubic feet per day, VOG said in a stock market statement.
Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) has made two experienced hires as it gears up for its next phase of development. T-cell cloning specialist Dr Samantha Paston is the company’s new head of research, while Dr Adrian Parry will take charge of manufacturing.
Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) told investors that a rig contract has been signed for the Stage 2 work programme that will advance its potentially world-class shale project in Australia. The exploration and appraisal programme will include the drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation of two horizontal wells, with drilling slated to start in June.
Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) has updated on the Lancaster field’s early production system development where progress has stalled somewhat amid a predicted worsening of weather conditions and an operational hiccup.
A mixture of organic growth and acquisitions helped revenue at Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) to surge last year.
Royalty specialist Anglo-Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) has a war chest of US$90mln to invest in new opportunities after a strong end to 2018. Income from its portfolio of mining interests jumped 15% to a record of £48mln-50mln in 2018, said the group.
VAST Resources PLC (LON:VAST) is moving ahead with off-take discussions with additional third parties, after partner Mercuria decided not to go through with a proposed US$5.5mln pre-payment financing.
Connemara Mining Company PLC (LON:CON) announced that, further to the proposed merger between SP Angel Corporate Finance and Northland Capital Partners, it has appointed SP Angel as its nominated adviser and joint broker with immediate effect. The firm said it has agreed to grant SP Angel warrants to acquire up to 2,000,000 ordinary shares of the company at 1.86p each, exercisable for a period of five years.
APQ Global Limited (LON:APQ) has declared a dividend of 1.5p per share in respect of the quarter to 31 December 2018. This dividend is payable on 1 March 2019 to shareholders on the register as at the close of business on 1 February 2019.