The food products manufacturer reported a pre-tax loss of £147,794 for the six months to end of April, compared to £285,659 in the year-ago period, supported by an ongoing cost savings programme.
Revenue, however, fell 45% to £638,996
The group said after streamlining certain aspects of the business and arranging for further access to funding facilities, it expects to swing to a net profit in the third quarter.
The loss before tax rose to £2.3mln in the six months to April 30 from £1.3mln a year ago and revenue fell to £2.6mln in from £2.9mln.
The company blamed challenging commission rates and levels across the industry and higher investment and restructuring costs.
Senior shares rise as first half results beat expectations
The aerospace and automobile engineering company said pre-tax profits jumped 20% to £39mln in the six months to the end of June, ahead of estimates of around £37mln.
Operating margins improved by 90 basis points to 8.3%, leading to a 9% improvement in free cash flow to £32.2mln.
The group raised its interim dividend by 6.8% to 2.19p and said its 2018 guidance remains unchanged.
Shares rose 6.7% to 325p.
Shares fell 7.6% to 79p.
The company, which supplies marketing software, is buying Danateq for an initial US$7mln in cash with a deferred consideration of up to US$5mln, based on performance criteria.
Pelatro will place up to 8,219,179 new ordinary shares at a price of 73p per ordinary share by way of an accelerated bookbuild.
The issue price of 73p each represents a discount of about 14.6% to the closing mid-market price of 85.5p on July 27, the last “practicable” date prior to the announcement of the placing and acquisition.
Dialight shares shine brighter while fellow LED lighting firm Luceco dims
The maker of LED lighting for industrial applications said underlying profit before tax in the six months to the end of June came to £2.8mln, down from £6.4mln the same period a year ago. Revenue fell to £80.1mln from £92.7mln, with the company blaming late product deliveries due to the “continued inability our manufacturing partner to adequately increase production output”.
However, the group said it has reduced late orders significantly since the start of the year after taking its product assembly back in-house.
“I am now confident that as we move toward our traditionally heavy fourth quarter we will be able to deliver our products on time and in the quantities needed,” said chief executive Marty Rapp.
“As previously guided, our results for 2018 will be heavily weighted to H2 reflecting the continued resolution of our operational issues.”
Shares increased 7.7% to 502p.
The company, which also makes wiring accessories and portable power products, said higher input cost inflation hurt margins while weaker consumer confidence led to weaker sales. However, it added that sales growth in the overseas businesses has remained strong.
The group expects operating profit in the first half to break even but sees a return to growth in the second half after improving margins by cutting costs and raising prices.
"The retail environment in the UK remains challenging and has continued to impact trading which, along with the gross margin difficulties encountered in Q4 2017, have negatively impacted our financial performance in the first half of 2018,” said chief executive John Hornby.
Red Emperor rallies as it executes definitive agreements for Alaska acquisition
Shares in Red Emperor were up 11% to 2.30p.
Red Emperor’s consortium partners include 88 Energy Limited and Otto Energy Limited. The definitive agreements were with Great Bear Petroleum Ventures II LLC to acquire a majority of the company’s working interest in four leases on the western flank of the Alaska North Slope.
The consortium will pay US$500,000 upon execution of the definitive agreements and another US$500,000 on receipt of final permits necessary to drill the initial test well.
Reabold Resources gains as it reports initial signs of success at Monroe Swell
The company, which owns a 50% stake in the project following the acquisition of Irish engineer Gaelic Resources, said intervention work has taken place at two of the four wells in the workover programme, revealing “significant oil shows”.
The A-3 well has now been put into production and the majority of fluids recovered to date has consisted of load water being pumped into the well as part of the workover programme. However, contract operator Integrity Management Solution expects the rate of oil production to increase as this is recovered over the coming days.
Shares edged up 10% to 0.8p.
Production at Welch in the first 27 days of July production came to 1,180 barrels, of which 896 barrels was attributable to Mosman.
That compares to the previous six month average of 24 barrels per day when production was held back during water injection pump repairs.
Shares rose 28% to 0.80p.
Clipper Logistic slips as it warns on difficult retail market
Clipper Logistics PLC (LON:CLG) was under the cosh after warning that a tough UK retail market brings an “element of caution into our planning”.
The provider of logistics and e-fulfilment to the retail sector, however, reported a 14.6% increase in profits for the year ended April 30 to £12.5mln.
In the new fiscal year, the company started a large e-fulfilment centre for Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) fashion website Pretty Little Thing.
Shares dropped 21% to 317p in morning trading.
The company plans to increase maintenance activity over the next year to bring production back to sustainable levels to meet increasing demand. This will result in additional maintenance shutdowns and extra spending.
For the year to the end of December 2018, the group expects adjusted earnings (EBITDA) of £121mln to £125mln, compared to £119.6mln last year. On a reported basis, EBITDA is forecast to be in the range of £130mln to £134mln, up from £112.1mln.
Other Proactive news headlines:
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:CPOL) (CVE:XOP) has taken a first step towards financing the development of the OPL226 licence offshore Nigeria. COPL’s 50% owned joint venture company Shorecan has agreed a project financing and offtake agreement term sheet for between US$30mln to US$50mln with Mauritius Commercial Bank and commodities trading group Trafigura.
88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) and Red Emperor Resource NL (LON:RMP) are to acquire working interests in an oil prospect on the prolific Alaska North Slope. The two companies have executed definitive agreements with Great Bear Petroleum Ventures and Otto Energy to acquire the majority of Great Bear's working interest in the four leases comprising the Western Blocks (ADL 391718; ADL 391719; ADL 391720; ADL 391721) in exchange for drilling a commitment well on the Western Blocks prior to 30 May 2019.
Stem cells specialist Widecells Group PLC (LON:WDC) has launched its innovative insurance product in Spain. It follows a soft roll-out of CellPlan via partner Stem Cell Banco Celulas Madre, a storage service specialist.
Wolf Minerals Ltd (ASX:WLF) (LON:WLFE) has extended its existing bridge facility from £65mln to £69mln, with £2m of the new money available immediately. The move comes as Wolf considers a more strategic long-term restructuring of debt incurred for the construction of the Drakelands tungsten mine in Devon.
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Limited (LON:ECO) is confident Total will exercise its option to farm-in to the Orinduik Block offshore Guyana. Orinduik is next door to ExxonMobil’s Starbroek block, where 4bn barrels of oil have been discovered so far.
Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI) has expanded its portfolio with two new property purchases in the towns of Shrewsbury and Stafford. The UK-focused property investment firm said the first acquisition in Shrewsbury was a 19,730 square feet Audi car dealership at the Battlefield Enterprise Park, located 4 miles from the town centre with the unit currently occupied by Lancaster plc, part of the Jardine Motors Group, with nearby occupiers including Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and Ford.
Profit for the full year will be in line with market expectations, according to Goldplat PLC (LON:GDP). The company produced 35,431 gold equivalent ounces in the year to 30 June, a 17% decrease over the previous year, albeit at higher margins.
Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) has secured a research grant from the Australian government to help fund research of recovery processes at its Kapunda project in South Australia. The AIM-listed miner said the A$2.8mln grant, awarded over a 30-month period, would be used to cover the costs of a demonstration of an In-Situ Recovery (ISR) process as part of its In-Situ Copper and Gold Recovery Trial at the project.
Ironridge Resources LTD (LON:IRR) has identified gold in soil anomalies at the Kineta project in Cote d’Ivoire. The anomalies are coincident with artisanal workings, now largely abandoned.
Construction and commissioning phases are expected to commence at the Salamanca uranium mine owned by Berkeley Energia Ltd. (LON:BKY) in late 2018 and 2019 respectively, subject to receipt of permits. Berkeley Energia has also recently identified further cost savings amounting to a potential €9mln, through the optimisation of plant capacities, outsourcing of peripheral infrastructure and reducing initial throughput for production from the Retortillo deposit.
Connemara Mining Company PLC (LON:CON), the Irish zinc and gold exploration and development company, said it has received notification that Michael O'Reilly has a beneficial interest in 6,840,000 ordinary shares, representing 6.01% of the company's issued share capital with voting rights.