Hydrogen and Solid State gain on well-received interims

A look at some of the top risers and fallers in London today

Sabien Technology Group PLC -
The disposal will eliminate all debt for Range Resources

Hydrogen Group PLC (LON:HYDG) shares jumped 20.6% to 58.50p after the recruitment agency reported a sharp rise in underlying pre-tax profit for the first half.

Underlying pre-tax profit rose 51% to £1.9mln and net fee income – a key measure of gross profit – grew 12.1% to £15.3mln.

The company raised its interim dividend by 20% to 0.6p per share as it ended the period with net cash of £3.4mln.

"I am delighted to be able to report continued strong earnings growth despite the Group experiencing more challenging market conditions in a number of Asian markets, and the impact of Brexit related uncertainty on demand levels for certain skill sets in the UK,” said chief executive Ian Temple.

“The performance is a testament to both the operating model that we have developed and our agile business model that has allowed us to pivot investment into higher growth markets, particularly in the USA.”

Shares in Solid State PLC (LON:SOLI) gained 12.7% to 485p after the manufacturer of computing, power and communications products said it expects full-year profits to be “significantly” ahead of forecasts.

The company, which also distributes electronic components, said trading in the first four months of the year has been “very strong” and is well ahead of budget.

It added that profits will be boosted by stronger than expected margins, the acquisition of Pacer and positive exchange rate movements.

“Generally, revenues across the group have been in line with management's expectations however there has been an acceleration of certain project work into H1 that had been expected in H2 which will benefit reported revenue and profits in H1,” it said.

11.00am: Synnovia shares surge on deal to be taken private

Synnovia PLC (LON:SYN) shares leapt 40% to 122.5p on news that it is being taken private in a deal that values the company at £48.8mln.

A fund advised by California-based Camelot Capital is offering 125p a share, a 43% premium to Friday’s closing price, for the maker of plastic components.

The transaction has the backing of management, while bidder Barker Partnership has already has 29.9% of the business. Adding in promises to sell stock – called irrevocable undertakings - will give it 57.7%.

Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) shares slid 11% to 135.9p after revealing it has swung to a first-half loss as it aggressively wrote down the value of many of its underperforming eateries. 

The FTSE 250 owner of Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquoto, lost £87.7mln before tax in the 26 weeks ended 30 June, compared to a statutory PBT of £12.2mln a year ago.

The loss reflected an exceptional charge of £115.7mln, of which £100.2mln is an impairment charge across ‘Leisure’ restaurant sites that have been identified as structurally unattractive, such as those Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito that are located in retail parks.

9.30am: Range Resources shares jump as it cuts debt through sale of Trinidad operations

Range Resources Ltd (LON:RRL) shares surged after saying it has agreed to sell its Trinidad operations to debt holder LandOcean Energy Services.

The oil and gas company will dispose of the business in exchange for offsetting all its outstanding debt owed to LandOcean and a cash consideration of US$2.5mln.

Shares jumped 256% to 0.07p.

Sabien Technology Group PLC (LON:SNT) shares gained 42.8% to 0.12p after announcing the appointment of a new chairman and an investment from the Truell Intergenerational Family Limited Partnership.

Richard Parris, the former boss of tech firm Intercede, has joined Sabien as a non-executive chairman with immediate effect.

The company, which makes the M2G boiler load optimisation control technology, said Truell has subscribed for more than 296mln in shares for 0.11p each, a 26% premium to the closing price on Monday.

In contrast, Xaar PLC (LON:XAR) shares dropped 29% to 62.4p after the printhead maker said it was deferring the publication of its interim results as it needs more time to provide a “meaningful update” on the progress of strategic negotiations.

The company expects revenue of £22.5mln for the first half, including the impact of Xaar 1201 Thin Film printhead inventory being returned to the business. The group has put aside a £5.7mln provision to write down the value of Xaar 1201.

The group warned that the remainder of the year will be weaker than previously anticipated due to lower sales volumes of Xaar 1201 and Xaar 2001 printheads.

Lansdown Oil & Gas PLC (LON:LOGP) shares fell 12.5% to 1.23p after saying it has once again extended the backstop date on a US$9mln loan advance owed by APEC.

The loan is part of a farmout deal for the Barryroe project between Lansdowne, APEC and EXOLA.

The backstop date, which has been extended several times, has been moved to September 9 from September 2.

Lansdowne said if the APEC loan is not be received by the close of business on 9 September, EXOLA and Lansdowne reserve the right to end exclusivity while considering “all legal remedies available to them” for contract non-performance.

Proactive news headlines

Synnovia PLC (LON:SYN) is being taken private in a deal that values the company at £48.8mln. A fund advised by California-based Camelot Capital is offering 125p a share, a 43% premium to Friday’s closing price.

Accrol Group Holdings PLC (LON:ACRL) is now more “operationally efficient and fit for purpose”, executive chairman Dan Wright told investors in Tuesday’s financial results statement.

Supermarket Income Reit PLC (LON:SUPR) collected rent of almost £20mln from its seven stores last year as it once again outperformed its peers with 8.0% total shareholder return.

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV) reported a jump in profits for the first half of the year as its three business lines continued to outperform their respective markets.

Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) has signed an agreement to produce a tour themed around the animated film The Snowman and The Snowdog.

Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) continues to make preparations for its upcoming exploration drill programme at the Tapi Aike project in Argentina.

It’s all change at Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) after a series of moves designed to create a “well-balanced, diversified and experienced board”. Chairman Colin Harrington is moving to become chief executive, while independent director Rick Grant, appointed at the end of June, will step into Harrington’s role, but in a non-executive capacity.

Providence Resources PLC (LON:PVR) has told investors it expects the Barryroe well site survey to start this week.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) has decided to end discussions over a proposed partnership with Canadian blockchain infrastructure group Hive Blockchain Infrastructure Ltd (CVE:HIVE).

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