Fyffe is top banana on AIM’s birthday

Fyffes' earnings are ahead of the curve for the second year in a row

The magnitude of the Fyffes’ upgrade is significant, Davy says

Dublin headquartered banana business Fyffes (LON:FFY) advanced around 10% on Friday as telling investors earnings were ahead of the curve.

The interim upgrade to the company’s own forecasts, which has now happened for the second year in a row, may help investors feel a little better following last year’s $1bn failed ‘mega-merger’ with Chiquita; when Brazilian orange group Safra beat Fyffe to the punch and sealed a deal with its banana rival.

Fyffes remains undervalued according Declan Morrissey at Dublin broker Davy.

“Today’s statement marks the second successive year of material upgrades to FY guidance at the mid-year point,” Morrissey said. “Management’s goal of moving the business to a higher and more sustainable earnings base is playing out.

“Similar to last year, the magnitude of the Fyffes’ upgrade is significant (+21% at the mid-point) and is mainly driven by increased pricing in the banana category.”

Environmental technology group Auhua Clean Energy (LON:ACE) fell 25% after raising raised £1.72mln through a discounted placing of shares.

Gusbourne (LON:GUS), the English wine-maker, was also lower yesterday as it revealed its open offer had a take-up of 70%, raising £2.5mln.

Boomtown rat Sir Bob Geldof left the board of TV producer Ten Alps (LON:TAL) after 16 years, and the group also announced a £4.5mln share placing and the acquisition of day-time TV group Reef Television.

In the oil and gas sector much of the attention was on the UK and Ireland.

Europa Oil & Gas (LON:EOG) on Tuesday said its three exploration projects offshore Ireland could, according to third party analysis, be worth US$1.6bn and later in the week production testing began on its 33% owned venture in Lincolnshire.

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) is the operator of Europa’s Wressle project, and it has 25% of the conventional oil discovery, alongside partners Union Jack Oil (LON:UJO) and Celtique.

The Wressle well will be pumped for two months to determine the project’s commercial merits.

Elsewhere the so-called Gatwick Gusher was again in the spotlight after an expert American consultant said discovery near the London airport could contain more than 9bn barrels of oil-in-place.

It is not an estimation of what may be recoverable from Horse Hill, nor does it include the project’s conventional Portland oil discovery, which is believed to contain a more accessible 21mln barrels of in-place oil.

Prospects for a mining project in Yorkshire, meanwhile, were dented this week.

Planning officers have said the environmental damage by Sirius Minerals (LON:SXX) York Potash mine might be greater suggested.

Sirius chief executive Chris Fraser unsurprisingly disagreed with some of the interpretations in the report, which comes ahead of the final decision at a special planning committee meeting on June 30.

"The planning case stood up to scrutiny," he said.

"Responsibility for balancing the various issues related to this application rests with the members of the Authority and we believe the case for approval is very strong because the project represents a once in a generation opportunity.”

Quick facts: Fyffes

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Market: AIM
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