It was a good first day of trading for café chain Loungers PLC (LON:LGRS), which saw its shares trading at 216p compared to its IPO price of 200p.
Last week, the company said it had raised £83.3mln ahead of the float which bosses plan to use to help pay down debts incurred by some ambitious growth plans that could see the current estate of 150 sites treble over the coming years.
Meanwhile, Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) said it believed its services will be “critical” for companies looking to move goods in and out of the UK post-Brexit as the freight forwarder posted strong full-year results. sending its shares 9.7% higher to 51p.
Demand for its services from customers’ looking to navigate increased red tape and customs checks should help Xpediator rack up more than £200mln in revenue this year.
The company also confirmed that revenue rose by 54% to £179.2mln in the year ended 31 December 2018. Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £5.6mln.
Shares in Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA, CVE:MKA) were also on the up, rising 7.3% to 8p as the firm unveiled a new partnership deal with MetalNRG PLC which is committing to spend US$2mln on exploration at the Thambani uranium project, in Malawi.
MetalNRG will earn up to 75% of Thambani as it invests in the project.
12.40pm: Mountfield Group in the money as it bags £3.6mln worth of new contracts
The firm said the new contracts, all of which were for one of its principal clients, would begin immediately and were expected to be completed by the end of its current financial year.
In the mid-caps, FTSE 250 miner Ferrexpo PLC (LON:FXPO) jumped 5.1% to 202.5p after the company rejected the assertion by its former auditor Deloitte that it had delayed a review into controversial donations to the Blooming Land charity in Ukraine.
Deloitte, which resigned as Ferrexpo’s auditor last week, said it had not been given enough evidence to show that US$33.5mln of donations to Blooming Land by Ferrexpo over two years was spent legitimately.
Ferrexpo, however, said that Deloitte did not point out any problems after auditing the group’s half-year results, published on 1 August 2018.
Elsewhere, shares in Auto Trader hit the skids, down 1.3% to 572.1p, on news that its chief executive Trevor Mather would retire from the role next March having spent almost six years at the helm.
Mather helped lead the company through its IPO in 2015 as well as guiding it into the ranks of the FTSE 100 last year.
Current finance boss and chief operating officer Nathan Coe will take over the reins upon Mather’s exit, and he will be promoted to the role of CEO-designate later this week.
11.00am: Mind Gym gives off positive vibes with trading update
The group, which uses psychology and behavioural science to help employees and companies, said its revenues for the year ended 31 March were 14% higher than the prior year at £42.1mln, while adjusted pre-tax profits were expected to be “in line with expectations”.
The ‘enlightening’ update sent the shares jumping 8.6% to 132p.
In the oilers, AIM-listed minnow Nostra Terra Oil and Gas Company plc (LON:NTOG) gushed 4.3% higher to 2.5p after it announced plans to drill its first horizontal well at the Mesquite project in Texas.
The company said it is in advanced talks over a new 160-acre lease in the target area, and, it comes with an immediate opportunity to drill a half-mile horizontal well.
It would aim to prove up and increase the company's overall proven and Probable oil reserves at Mesquite.
Elsewhere, shares in Lok’n Store Group PLC (LON:LOK) climbed 1% to 500p after the self-storage firm hiked its interim dividend by 10% after doubling profits in the first half of its financial year.
The group’s chief executive Andrew Jacobs added that the company was aiming to build “more landmark stores” into the rest of the year to address what he said was a “structurally under-supplied market”.
9.15am: Trakm8 climbs on bullish outlook despite disappointing year
Shares in fleet management and dashcam firm Trakm8 Holdings PLC (LON:TRAK) climbed 14.3% higher to 24p in early deals on Monday after the group’s confident outlook outweighed disappointing full year numbers.
In a trading update for the year ended 31 March, the group said the value of new contracts secured in its final quarter had been 67% higher than the average of the previous three quarters, with contract value in the second half 41% higher than the first.
John Watkins, Trakm8’s executive chairman, said the final quarter wins meant the firm expected “a much stronger financial performance" in its new fiscal year, sending the shares higher.
The bullish outlook contrasted to glum numbers for the year, with the group reporting an adjusted pre-tax loss of £1.4mln while revenues fell 35% to £19.2mln on the back of Brexit uncertainty delaying contracts among its clients.
Meanwhile, a blue-chip riser was pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), which added nearly 1% to 5,846p on the news that its Lynparza drug had been recommended for approval in the EU as a first-line maintenance treatment for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a positive opinion of the drug, meaning it will recommend that the European Medicines Agency approve it.
Among the fallers, Nexus Infrastructure PLC (LON:NEXS) shares plunged 29% lower to 150.5p after the group warned that customer delays and cost pressures that had arisen in its first half were “likely to continue” into the next six months and would “significantly impact” its profitability for the full year.
Proactive news headlines:
Freight forwarder Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) believes its services will be “critical” for companies looking to move goods in and out of the UK post-Brexit. The company confirmed on Monday (29 April) that revenue rose by 54% to £179.2mln in the year ended 31 December 2018. Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £5.6mln.
Kibo Energy PLC (LON:KIBO) told investors that it has received formal notice from the Tanzanian authorities inviting it to develop the Mbeya coal-to-power project. TANESCO, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company, has asked the company to develop the project for export market which, Kibo highlights, allows the company to engage with the African Power Pools regarding off-take agreements.
OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) said expects commercial traction and revenues to grow after signing a raft of deals for its health products. Having developed new strains of bacteria that target the gut microbiome to tackle conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, it has seen significant commercial demand for its technology.
Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd (LON:FARN) said a separate Japanese study effectively confirmed the results of an earlier phase III trial of its Traumakine drug for people with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In other words, it did not reduce mortality or increase the number of ventilator-free survival days when compared to placebo.
ClearStar Inc (LON:CLSU) has announced a further extension to a contract for its financial institution screening capabilities with a customer that provides outsourcing services.
Polarean Imaging Plc (LON:POLX) has appointed the former chief financial officer (CFO) of an oncology therapeutics firm as its new finance boss. The medical imaging firm said Charles (Chuck) Osborne, Jr, who joins the company from Innocrin Pharmaceuticals Inc, would begin the role with immediate effect and will replace outgoing CFO Bill Patrick, who would take up the post of financial controller at Polarean Inc, the group’s subsidiary.
Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) has told investors that a required piece of equipment has now arrived on site in Morocco, and, it will now advance testing programmes on the TE-10 well. With the receipt of coiled tubing, the company will work to start a programme of unstimulated tests, followed by stimulated flow tests.
Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC (LON:EOG) told investors that a public inquiry will take place in November to hear an appeal against last year’s denial of planning permission to the Wressle field. The new hearing is expected to start on 5 November and will last around 5 days.
Anglo Asian Mining (LON:AAZ) has revealed the results of extensive exploration on its Azerbaijan properties. Follow-up work on the most promising targets is now getting underway. Big Pic in December.
Eurasia Mining plc (LON:EUA) expects to resume operations at the West Kytlim alluvial site in Russia in the next two weeks. A gravity separation device has been installed to improve recoveries of platinum.
Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA, CVE:MKA) has unveiled a new partnership deal with MetalNRG PLC which is committing to spend US$2mln on exploration at the Thambani uranium project, in Malawi. MetalNRG will earn up to 75% of Thambani as it invests in the project.
Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has reported an update on infill drilling at the T3 copper project in Botswana. T3 is owned by MOD Resources (LON:MOD), in which Metal Tiger holds a 10.48% stake. Since commencement of the infill drilling in January 2019, 49 of the planned 60 hole programme have now been completed at T3, with the remaining 11 holes expected to be completed by the end of the first half of 2019.
Kore Potash PLC (LON:KP2) has switched tack in the Republic of Congo to a smaller potash project at the Dougou Extension (DX) site. Until now Kore Potash had focused on the much larger Kola project, but said it would require substantially lower investment to get DX up and running.
KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM22) said its KRM22 Central Limited subsidiary has entered into a new five-year debt facility with Harbert European Growth Capital Fund II to support future business growth and allow it to pursue a pipeline of investment targets. The AIM-listed firm said the facility is for up to €11.55mln (around £10.0mln) of which an initial £1mln will be drawn down immediately.
Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR), the AIM-quoted exploration company operating in Africa and Europe, said it has now received a repayment of £522,000 from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs following the positive resolution of its VAT dispute last year. Bob Smeeton, Oriole’s chief financial officer, said: “The end of the dispute allows us to reduce professional advisor fees and provides funds for our continued exploration operations."
Anglesey Mining PLC (LON:AYM) has raised £200,000 in a placing of just over nine million new shares at 2.135p each. The placing price represents a discount of approximately 9.1% on the previous closing price.
i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) said its 2019 drilling programme remains on track to commence mid-summer as its debt financing plans for the programme continue to progress. The AIM-listed independent oil and gas company, with assets and operations in the UK focused on the North Sea, said the junior debt facility with warrants, announced on 1 March, which will be used to partially finance the programme continues to progress to legally binding loan documentation.
Oracle Power Plc (LON:ORCP), the UK energy developer of a combined lignite coal mine and mine mouth power plant located in the south-eastern Sindh Province of Pakistan, said that as part of the China Belt and Road Summit held in Beijing 27-28 April 2019, the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between its Chinese partners, Beijing Jingneng Power Company Limited and PowerChina International Group Limited, announced on 27 March 2019, has been ceremonially signed by the parties.
Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH) (NASDAQ:MTP) said at the close on Friday that, further to its announcement on 3 May 2018, it received written notification on 23 April 2019 from NASDAQ that for the last 10 consecutive business days, from April 8 to April 22 2019, the closing bid price of the company's American Depositary Shares had been at $1.00 per share or greater and, accordingly, the company has regained compliance with NASDAQ Listing Rules.