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Ascent Resources shares descend as it posts wider half-year loss

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

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Ascent Resources said the first half period “created challenges for the company”

Ascent Resources PLC (LON:AST) shares were under pressure after reporting a wider half-year loss on a big drop in revenue.

The oil and gas company saw its loss after tax increased from £611,000 to £994,000 and revenue fell to £242,000 from £1.28mln.

The group suffered a net cash outflow of £22,000.

It said the period under review has “created challenges for the company”, including being denied an appeal against the Slovenian Environmental Agency’s requirement for an environmental impact assessment for stimulation of the existing wells.

Shares decreased 18% to 0.23p.

Ormonde Mining plc (LON:ORM) shares advanced as it told investors it has seen improved mined ore grades at its Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain.

The mine, which is still in the ramp-up phase, has seen grades improve as mining in the southern starter pit moves downwards to fresh ore and northwards to the main orebody.

The company said significant progress on waste stripping of the east wall cutback has been achieved, as a result of which initial access to the main orebody should be gained early in the fourth quarter.

Shares increased 22% to 2.7p.  

1.30pm: Parity Group shares fall as it slumps to first-half loss

Parity Group plc (LON:PTY) shares declined 6.4% to 7.25p after swinging to a first-half loss, blaming “continuing difficult market conditions” in the UK recruitment market.

The recruitment and technology consultancy firm posted a loss before tax of £541,000 for the first six months of the year, compared to a profit of £847,000 last year, as it spent £930,000 on its overhaul plan and lost a major Scottish government contract.  Revenue edged up 3% to £44.5mln, lifted by recent contract wins in the consultancy business.

The company said it expects to make a “modest level” of adjusted pre-tax profit for the full year.

Sunrise Resources PLC is on the front foot after saying it remains on course to have a permit in place its CS perlite and pozzolan mine in Nevada by the end of the year.

The group said an environmental assessment is nearly complete.

Sunrise intends to process a 100-ton bulk sample currently on site to provide additional samples of crushed and screened horticultural grade raw perlite.

Patrick Cheetham, executive chairman, added there was strong interest from attendees of the Perlite Institute Annual Meeting last week.

Shares rose 34% to 0.15p.

11.30am: 7digital shares gain as it raises £1.8mln 

7digital Group PLC (LON:7DIG) said it has secured further funds for its expansion plan and to “bring creditors up to date”, sending shares up 20% to 0.22p.

The digital music and radio services platform raised £1.8mln through a share placing. Investors included the company’s chairman Tamir Koch, non-executive director David Lazurus and new shareholders.

The group has now raised £4.8mln, which includes funds from an earlier share issue and debt for equity swap.

Billing Services Group Limited (LON:BILL) shares edged down nearly 7% to 2p after reporting a US$1.4mln decline in revenue for the first six months of the year.

Revenue dropped to US$7mln from £8.4mln last year due to weaker transaction volumes associated with a legacy business that provides billing and clearing services to wireline telecommunication providers. It made no profit for the period.

The company said it continues to look at ways to improve earnings and cash flow. “In light of the potentially significant changes in the business, we will not provide guidance on projected future financial performance,” it said.

9.40am: StatPro shares jump as it agrees takeover by Confluence Technologies

StatPro Group PLC (LON:SOG) shares surged 52% to 226p after it agreed to be taken over by US-based software firm Confluence Technologies.

StatPro, which provides software for the asset management industry, noted that the all-cash offer of 230p per share represents a 55% premium to its closing share price on Thursday.

Clontarf Energy PLC (LON:CLON) shares leapt 58% to 0.49p after reporting progress on talks with Ghanaian authorities about ratifying its petroleum agreement for the Tano 2A Block.

Clontarf said an agreement for more “pro-business policies” will boost production,

It added that Ghana’s government is “keen to resolve outstanding issues, and drive forward with the professional and prompt development of Ghana's oil & gas potential”.

The group also highlighted a recent oil discovery of potentially 1 billion barrels, which could double production in Ghana by 2021.

Eve Sleep PLC (LON:EVE) shares slumped 36% to 3.09p as it resumed trading after deciding to end talks about a possible merger with Simba Sleep Ltd.

The company said: “The board of eve has decided that now is not the right time to pursue the potential merger and that it is more appropriate to focus on the eve rebuild plan, as previously communicated to investors in the Company's 2018 results announcement on 12 March 2019.”

The struggling mattress firm also warned that trading has been more challenging than previously expected due uncertain economic outlook and continuing low levels of consumer confidence.

Proactive news headlines

StatPro Group PLC (LON:SOG) is to go private after accepting a takeover bid from US-based software firm Confluence Technologies valuing the firm at £161.1mln.

Hurricane Energy Plc’s (LON:HUR) half yearly results on Friday were the company’s first set of financials to include revenue. The May start-up of the Lancaster field’s early production system (EPS) was a landmark moment for the company, which has since seen output ramp-up with rates at the end of the period running ahead of guidance.

Midatech Pharma PLC (LON: MTPH; NASDAQ:MTP) said it has received the regulatory green light for a trial that may eventually pave the way for its long-acting drug to be administered by patients at home.

Ormonde Mining plc (LON:ORM) has experienced improved mined ore grades at its Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain.

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) remains on track to have a permit in place its CS perlite and pozzolan mine in Nevada by the end of the year. There is a growing market for perlite in the US, driven in part by increased use by cannabis growers.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) has secured an €8.5mln credit facility that will allow it “drive commercial adoption” of its lung cancer diagnostic, of which it will be able to immediately draw down €5mln.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) has appointed non-executive director Gati Al-Jebouri as its new chief executive and chairman as it grows from a special-purpose vehicle into an operating company. He replaces David Linsley and Francis McAllister, who have stepped down as chief executive and chairman respectively.
 

ULS Technology PLC (LON:ULS) shares fell 14% to 46p after announcing it would take a hit to profit of up to £500,000 due to the loss of a major contract.

The provider of online B2B platforms for the UK conveyancing and financial intermediary markets said it was unsuccessful in re-tendering for an existing contract. 

The loss of the contract is expected to have an impact of £400,000 to £500,000 on the company's profit before tax from the year ended 31 March 2021.

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