Shares in Zoo Digital Group PLC (LON:ZOO) were 10.9% lower at 49p in late-afternoon after it warned its adjusted earnings (EBITDA) for the second half of its fiscal year would be break-even, down from US$500,000 in the first half.
The localisation and digital distribution group said the dip in earnings was down to its investments as well as what it said was a “faster than expected acceleration” in the decline of revenues from its legacy packaged media business (i.e. DVDs and Blu-Ray discs).
Meanwhile, private hospital operator Mediclinic International Plc (LON:MDC) was given a spring in its step, with shares jumping 8.9% to 331p, despite the prediction of a 3.5% fall in full year earnings.
While a profit warning is usually the cue for a share slide, the profit fall was not as bad as analysts had feared.
The drop-off in profitability came amid a “challenging healthcare environment”, with regulatory changes in the Swiss healthcare market denting margins in that region by two percentage points.
Earnings news also sparked a rally in the shares of Fusion Antibodies PLC (LON:FAB), albeit this was of the traditionally positive variety, as it reported a “significant” increase in orders and revenues in the second half of its financial year, sending the shares 5.3% higher to 30p.
1.00pm: JKX Oil & Gas buoyed as first quarter production rises over 10%
Shares in JKX Oil & Gas PLC (LON:JKX) bounced 5.8% higher to 55p in early afternoon after the group’s production increased by over 10% in the first quarter of 2019 to 9,907 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd)
In an operations update, the firm added that its IG103 side track well in Ukraine had continued to “exceed expectations” with a production rate of 1,449 boepd.
The company has pitched it as a win-win: it gets extra computing power to help it mine Bitcoin, while gamers get the chance to earn free games.
In the fallers, Telecom Plus PLC (LON:TEP) shares dropped 2.2% to 1,458p as the UK multi-utility supplier warned that full-year profit would be towards the lower end of its guidance range due to the impact of a warm winter and an energy price cap.
The group, which owns Utility Warehouse, expects adjusted pre-tax profit of £56mln for the year, down from £54.3mln the previous year.
The government’s energy price cap and warmer than usual weather over winter reduced energy revenue in the quarter.
10.50am: Enteq Upstream gushes higher as it upgrades full year earnings forecasts
The AIM-listed firm, which makes measuring equipment for oil wells, said in an update that trading between 20 February and the end of its fiscal year on 31 March had been “stronger than anticipated”, adding that sales had grown in its new business in North America as well as internationally.
As a result, Enteq said underlying EBITDA would be “materially ahead” of its previous estimates, which themselves were revised up in the February update, while revenues would be around US$10mln.
A prominent AIM 100 mover was Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG), which jumped 7.9% to 71.2p after unveiling a US$30mln deal to acquire US recruitment software group Breezy HR.
LTG said it was putting down US$12mln initially for Breezy, whose products are used by 10,000 companies in 72 countries, with the additional US$18mln to be paid out based on performance over a three year period.
Elsewhere, a surprise first-quarter loss sent shares in car dealer Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG) into a spin, falling 7.8% to 23.2p.
The owner of Stratstone and Evans Halshaw reported a 9.1% fall in profits from new car sales in the three months to the end of March, while profits from used cars fell 1.6%.
The situation wasn’t helped by a 3.3% rise in operating costs which piled pressure on margins.
9.15am: Carclo tumbles on profit warning after dimmer performance from main LED arm
The group, which specialises in plastic parts for medical and car lights, said in a year-end trading update that higher than expected costs for scrap, freight and production labour and lower contract awards meant profits for Wipac, the main business for its LED Technologies arm, had fallen below expected levels.
Among the blue-chips, shares in FTSE 100 consumer supplies firm Bunzl PLC (LON:BNZL) were pummelled, slumping 11.5% to 2,257p after its underlying revenue growth slowed in the first quarter amid a tough retail market.
The slowdown was largely due to its North American business, which saw underlying revenue growth ease to 1% in the quarter due to weaker sales in the grocery and retail sectors.
In the risers, Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) gushed 35.5% higher to 11.2p after telling investors that production form the 16aZ well at the West Rustavi field validates its expectation beating initial results.
The oiler said while production rates were currently constrained due to capacity restraints at surface, the rate remained consistent with the 1,100 barrels of oil per day result reported earlier this month.
Elsewhere, Powerhouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) jumped 11% to 0.56p after signing its first revenue generating contract with its exclusive partner, Waste2Tricity Limited (W2T).
The firm said under the agreement it would provide planning and engineering design services to W2T that would lead to a build contract and license for use of its DMG technology, which converts waste plastic and tyres to hydrogen gas that can be used to generate electricity.
Proactive news headlines:
Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) told investors that ongoing production from the 16aZ well at the West Rustavi field validates its expectation beating initial results. Production rates from the well are presently constrained due to capacity restraints at surface but the company highlighted that the rate remains consistent with the initial 1,100 barrels of oil per day result earlier this month.
Powerhouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) has signed its first revenue generating contract with its exclusive partner, Waste2Tricity Limited (W2T).
Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) is buying a US recruitment software group in a deal worth up to US$30mln. It is putting down an initial US$12mln for Breezy HR, whose products are used by 10,000 companies in 72 countries.
Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) has announced the spudding of the Warwick Deep exploration well, the first to be drilled in partnership with Centrica-backed Spirit Energy. It is the first of three planned wells in the programme which will assess the Greater Warwick Area (GWA), which comprises the Lincoln discovery and the previously untested Warwick prospect.
Graphene product specialist Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) more than doubled annual revenues as its raft of commercial partnerships started to generate orders. Total income in 2018 rose to €2.5mln (€1.23mln) with sales of €2.25mln (€1mln) if grants are excluded.
Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) chief executive Joe Wiley said the company has created the “commercial platform and critical infrastructure to make this a significant business and cash generator”. He was speaking following the release of full-year results for the group, which revealed turnover had grown 13.3% to €14.5mln in the 12 months to December 31.
Online gaming platform operator Nektan PLC (LON:NKTN) has completed the sale of a majority stake in US operation Respin, but a lower price than originally expected. Nektan has sold 57.5% of Respin to Alternative Investment Partners Limited (AIP), a different buyer than originally planned, for £300,000 cash plus the provision of US$800,000 in working capital.
Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) has confirmed that its partner Schlumberger has now converted its interest in the Anoual permits, part of the Tendrara exploration venture, into a direct stake in the project.
Galileo Resources PLC (LON:GLR) has raised £500,000 in a share placing the help fund the advancement of its Star Zinc project in Zambia. The exploration firm said it had placed 100mln new shares with institutional and retail investors at a placing price of 0.5p each, a 13.8% discount to its last close price of 0.58p on 16 April.
RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL, the investment trust specialising in secured debt investments, announced that its investment manager, RM Capital Markets Limited acquired 29,084 ordinary shares in the company at 101.50p each on 16 April 2019. Following the purchase and taking into account a distribution of its holding to some staff members of the Investment Manager as part of its 2018 remuneration policy, the investment manager's total holding in the company is 961,008 ordinary shares.
appScatter Group PLC (LON:APPS) said that, further to the announcement of 8 April 2019, the board is still waiting for the remainder of the £2.2mln share and once all the funds have been received the company will issue a further announcement applying for all the new Ordinary Shares to be admitted to AIM.
KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) said yesterday that it has been notified that on 15 April 2019 Stephen Casner, its chief executive officer USA acquired 1,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 8p each. It added, following this transaction, Casner has an interest in 513,143 ordinary shares representing 2.81% of the company’s entire issued share capital.
Shefa Yamim (A.T.M.) Ltd. (LON:SEFA) said that, following its announcement on 11 April 2019, the planned 10 to 1 share split will now become effective on 23 April 2019, not 17 April 2019 as originally announced.