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Market movers: Summit Corporation, Metminco, Invensys, Centrica, Diageo, Travelzest, 24/7 Gaming

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Summit Corporation (LON:SUMM) and Metminco (LON:MNC) were the standout performers on the junior market on another busy day for corporate earnings.

Summit shares got a shot in the arm as it was awarded a cash injection from the UK Biomedical Catalyst Fund to support the clinical development of its drug for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), the fatal muscle wasting disease.

The Biomedical Catalyst programme, formed in 2011 as part of a government drive, provides funding to British life science companies that show the highest scientific and commercial potential.

Summit’s utrophin modulator drug SMT C1100 is expected to enter patient clinical trials later in 2013 and has the potential to become a life-changing treatment for all DMD, which affects around 1,500 boys and young men in the UK.

The award adds to recent fundraisings including a £4.5mln placing and A$1.25mln from Australian DMD Foundation Save Our Sons (SOS).

Metminco (LON:MNC) meanwhile, whose shares have been on a storming run this week since getting approval to expand the project area of its Los Catalos deposit in Peru, picked up another 22% to 2.2p a share today.

Its quarterly activities report rounded up a busy period for the Latin American junior miner as it revealed it has US$11.5mln of cash in the bank.

“The Company continues to engage with potential strategic partners regarding the development of Los Calatos, as well as advancing additional optimisation scenarios for the project, which the Company expects to release to the market in the third quarter,” managing director William Howe said today.

Shares in Invensys (LON:ISYS) rose today as France’s Schneider Electric revealed that the British engineering firm has agreed to its £3.4bn takeover bid.

The energy management group is offering 502p a share, which is a 14% premium to Invensys’s share price of 440p on July 11, the day before the deal was first unveiled.

“Combined with the disposal of Invensys Rail and return of £625 million to shareholders, this represents a very attractive outcome for Invensys Shareholders,” said Invensys chairman Sir Nigel Rudd.

Invensys sold it rail business in May to Germany’s Siemens in a deal worth £1.7bn, allowing the company to plug the deficit in its pension scheme.

“The members of the Invensys Pension Scheme will benefit from the ongoing support of a significantly larger, leading, global automation business,” Rudd added.

British Gas owner Centrica (LON:CNA) climbed to the top of the Footsie after its half-year numbers pleased the market.

The chilly conditions over winter helped the company’s operating profit rise 9% to £1.6bn while British Gas’s residential division saw profits warm up by 3% to £356mln, having hoisted energy prices 6% higher in November.

Johnnie Walker-to-Smirnoff maker Diageo’s (LON:DGE) full-year figures failed the impress however despite reporting underlying sales up 5% to £11.4bn and operating profit up 9% to £3.4bn.

The world’s largest spirits group reflected on weakness in the Chinese market, where growth was hampered as travellers from the world’s second biggest economy opted to tighten their belts instead of splash out on alcohol.

The company also blamed the government’s crackdown on extravagant spending for the slowdown in sales.

Moneysupermarket.com (LON:MONY) slumped 16% out of the gate as it revealed chief financial officer Paul Doughty has resigned from the price comparison website operator.

The news came alongside half-year results that showed revenues grew 10% to £112mln and pre-tax profits rose from £11.6mln to £19.8mln.

Travelzest (LON:TVZ), the tour operator that used to run a naturist holiday business, confirmed the resignation of chief executive Jonathan Carroll.

He was ousted at a recent shareholder meeting that was called by former chairman Mark Molyneux, who has a 10.7% stake in the business.

Finance director Adrian Cobbold will run Travelzest in his place.

The cash-strapped company recently won a second reprieve from its main lender Barclays, allowing it to continue trading until the end of August at the earliest.

Finally, 24/7 Gaming Group (LON:247), the mobile gaming services provider, made its debut on London’s AIM market on Wednesday. 

The Netherlands-based company operates casino-style games such as roulette and bingo for tablets or smartphones under the brand name WannaGaming.

“The listing will enable us to execute our business strategy and planned player acquisition marketing campaigns in the UK and new international markets,” said CEO Rogier Smit.

 

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