Market ReportMarket Movers

Cellcast downcast as Kenya ups the ante in attack on the gambling industry

A look at the day's major movers, including Topps Tiles, Mortgage Advice, Shoe Zone, Knight's Group, UDG, GYG and Galliford Try.

One-armed bandit
The board of Cellcast believes that there is increasing political opposition in Kenya to the industry as a whole

Broadcaster Cellcast PLC (LON:CLTV) lost around one-seventh of its market value after it cast doubt on the viability of its overseas consulting services.

The company noted that Kenya's Betting Control and Licensing Board had issued a notice detailing its plans to drastically curtail its licensees' ability to advertise from 30 May 2019. The planned restrictions have an impact on the outdoor advertising of gambling, gambling adverts on social media, gambling adverts between 6am and 10pm and celebrity endorsement of gambling operations.

The restrictions, if introduced, would likely hit Cellcast’s Kenyan consultancy arm hard as it provides services to a number of operators in the gaming sector.

In 2018, the company reported total revenues of £395,000 from its overseas consultancy services. Further, the company currently has a trade debtor from its Kenyan client, totalling £453,000.

1.30pm: More woes for the High Street as Topps Tiles and Shoe Zone disappoint

Topps Tiles PLC (LON:TPT) shares eased back after it revealed profit and revenue dropped in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

The shares dipped 2.3% despite the company reassuring investors that the second half of the year had started encouragingly.

In the six months to the end of March, like-for-like sales increased 0.2% year-on-year, helped by the later timing of Easter this year and the non-repeat of heavy snowfall and icy temperatures seen last year; however, the growth rate marked a slowdown on the 0.6% like-for-like rise in sales for the same period a year ago.

Another retailer getting a kicking was Shoe Zone PLC (LON:SHOE), the footwear flogger, which was down 5.7% at 214p after its interims.

The AIM-listed firm reported a pre-tax profit for the six months ended 30 March of £1mln, the same as the year before, while revenues dipped slightly to £73.0mln from £73.7mln and earnings per share slipped to 1.65p from 1.70p a year ago. The company maintained its interim dividend at 3.5p per share.

Nick Davis, the company’s chief executive, said that the performance for the year had been in line with management’s expectations and that despite the overall dip the company had achieved revenue growth in its “key growth areas” of digital and its Big Box stores.

12.15pm: Mortgage Advice hit by lending slow-down

Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) PLC (LON:MAB1) shares stumbled on Tuesday morning as the company said housing transactions are taking longer to complete.

In a statement, released ahead of the company's annual general meeting this afternoon, chairman Katherine Innes Ker noted that the transaction delays will have an impact on the timing of the group's banked revenue.

“Despite a market that continues to face the twin challenges of political and economic uncertainty, we believe MAB is ideally positioned to continue increasing its market share, and to focus on wider group success and profitability through new opportunities and broadening our addressable market,” she was set to tell shareholders.

Shares in the mortgage advice dispenser were down 6.5% at 572p.

11.00am: Knights Group's first year as a listed company ending on a high note

Law firm Knights Group Holdings PLC (LON:KGH) put the hammer down in mid-morning deals after an upbeat trading update.

The shares climbed 6% to 300p as the company said it performed well in the second half of its financial year.

Adjusted profit before tax is anticipated to be slightly ahead of market expectations at £9.7mln, a 102% increase from the £4.8mln reported for the full year ended 30 April 2018.

10.15am: UDG in rude health

International healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare PLC (LON:UDG) got the day off to a good start, with its shares rising following solid interim results.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the six months to the end of March increased by 5% - 7% on a constant currency basis - year-on-year, paving the way for a 5% increase in the interim dividend to 4.46 US cents a share. Revenue eased to US$656.6mln from US$675.3mln the year before.

The group also announced the acquisitions of Putnam Associates, a US-based strategic management healthcare consultancy, and Incisive Health, a UK-based healthcare policy and communications consultancy.

The former is being acquired for up to US$88.6mln and the latter for a total consideration of up to £13.6mln.

9.30am: GYG on the crest of a wave while Galliford Try makes the best out of a bad job

Yesterday it was WYG shares soaring, today it is GYG PLC (LON:GYG) that is coming home with a wet sail after lifting profits guidance.

Shares in the super-yacht painting and maintenance group rose 6% to 76p after it said it has traded better than expected so far in 2019.

Bosses said they had seen “continued improvement” in the general refit market during the first four months of the year, which has helped to boost trading.

Yoda’s least favourite housebuilding and regeneration group Galliford Try plc (LON:GFRD) achieved the unusual feat of delivering bad news and then seeing its share price rise.

The company said the profit hit from restructuring its construction division will be at the top end of its expected range, but the good news is it has identified no further problems with legacy or current contracts.

Last month, the FTSE 250 building and regeneration group issued a shock profit warning, saying it would take a £30mln-40mln hit after being forced to write down the value of major contracts in the construction division.

Proactive news headlines:

VR Education Holdings Plc’s (LON:VRE) Apollo 11 VR showcase experience has been selected by Facebook to be a launch title on the Oculus Quest headset, which launches around the world today. The Oculus Quest is Facebook’s new all-in-one virtual reality headset that the tech giant hopes will help to take VR mainstream.

IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) has released results of metallurgical test-work from the Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana, West Africa. The results showed concentrate grades consistently above 6% lithium oxide, the current industry standard, and recoveries at up to 85%.

Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has revealed that the open offer portion of its new funding package has now closed and said that that the shareholder equity sale was oversubscribed.

Itaconix Plc (LON:ITX) has received its first purchase order from chemical firm Nouryon for personal care polymer following the signing of an exclusive supply agreement in February. Big Pic in January.

accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) has reiterated its full-year expectations after a strong start to 2019. In a trading update ahead of its AGM on Tuesday, the ticketing and ecommerce services provider said that in the four months to 30 April it had seen “strong demand” for its core ranges.

Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX) shares surged on Tuesday after the company hit three major milestones in its ‘.luxe’ project, including US$100,000 from its sale of the first domains.

Crossword Cybersecurity Plc (LON:CCS) said its Consulting division has launched a new information security product, virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) in tandem with its partner Reliance acsn Ltd. The product is a virtual/remote CISO service which gives clients a cybersecurity team and network protection at a fraction of the cost of building their own.

Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) is to merge with Aegerion Pharmaceuticals to form a new global business specialising in rare and orphan diseases. The merger creates a group with revenues of $136.5mln in 2018 and re-unites the Lojuxta cholesterol treatment under one roof.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) has posted full-year results ahead of market expectations and hailed its strong financial position and excellent cash generation. Profit before taxation and various one-off charges in the year to the end of February grew by 9% to £14.4mln, up from £13.2mln the year before. The consensus forecast among brokers covering the stock was for a headline profit before tax of £13.96mln.

The chief executive of Tissue Regenix Group PLC (LON:TRX) is to return to full-time duties next month.

UK biopharma Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB) is to present three posters on its iclaprim next-generation antibiotic at an upcoming industry conference in San Francisco.

Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX), the medical imaging technology company, is set to receive another US$1mln through a research grant. The company said it will receive the third tranche of US$1mln as part of its US$3mln Small Business Innovation Research grant.

Integumen PLC (LON:SKIN), the company behind the Labskin technology, said revenues in 2018 were ahead of previous expectations. The company, which has developed a laboratory-grown skin that is used by cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies to see how their latest products will react to human skin, said revenue increased to £502,000 in 2018 from £238,000 in 2017.

Galantas Gold Corporation (LON:GAL) turned in a net loss for the quarter ended March 31 of just under C$780,000, slightly up from the 2018 number of just under C$525,000. The company had a cash balance of nearly C$3.8mln.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) booked a loss for the year to 31 December 2018 of £3.4mln, up somewhat from the £2.8mln booked in 2017. Year-end cash totalled £7.7mln.

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) has intercepted nine metres grading 3.14 grams per tonne gold in trenching on the central Bakassi zone on the Bibemi project in Cameroon. The intercept was the highlight of the broad programme of work across Oriole’s Bibemi and Wapouzé gold projects.

W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) has told investors that the first feed of ore into the newly installed jig and mill plant at the La Parrilla tungsten mine in Spain has taken place. “The next step is construction completion of the new Concentrator Plant in June and commencement of commissioning in July,” said Michael Masterman, W Resources chairman.

OPG Power Ventures PLC (LON:OPG), has hedged 60% of its coal requirements for this year against future adverse price movements. The India based company operates a coal-fired power plant at Chennai, Tamil Nadu and the hedge covers approximately one million tonnes of coal between June 2019 and March 2020.

Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK), in a statement after Monday’s close, revealed that it intends to convert its status to become a European company (referred to as a ‘Societas Europaea’ or SE). The company told investors that it made the decision because it is a multinational company with operational functions in several different countries. It is currently designated as a Finnish company.


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