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Angling Direct reels in gains following Erics acquisition

A look at some of the major risers and fallers in London on Wednesday

ASOS PLC - Entertainment AI ascends as YouTube audience and ad revenues jump in Q3
Angling is aiming to consolidate its hold on the market

Angling Direct PLC (LON:ANG) reeled in some gains in late-afternoon, floating 2.5% higher to 61p, after it acquired fishing tackle retailer Erics Angling Centre for £1.1mln as part of its efforts to consolidate the angling market.

Erics owns two physical stores in “strong angling communities” in Farlows Lake, near Slough, and in Leeds as well as an online wing, all of which have been taken over by the AIM-listed fishing retailer.

Following the integration of Erics, Angling Direct will have 31 stores in England, having said earlier this month that it expected to increase its portfolio to 34 by the end of the financial year.

Elsewhere, Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) bounced 12.7% higher to 31p on the news that it will give two presentations at the Scientific Meeting of Sexual Medicine Society of North America next week in Nashville, Tennessee.

The AIM-listed company will also host its third Scientific Advisory Meeting with high profile US key opinion leaders in the field of erectile dysfunction.

2.20pm: Augean gallops higher on bullish trading update

Hazardous waste disposer Augean PLC (LON:AUG) surged 14.3% to 134.9p in mid-afternoon after the firm said following a strong third quarter it now expected its full-year profits to be “materially ahead” of market expectations.

The AIM-listed group, whose specialities include getting rid of nuclear waste and asbestos, said its performance during the year had been boosted by a 20% improvement in landfill pricing as well as a 20% rise in waste volumes across all of its divisions.

Elsewhere, biotech companies backer Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX) jumped 4.8% to 113.2p after the lead candidate of its portfolio company Aura Biosciences showed “early signs of efficacy”.

The firm is currently evaluating the safety and efficacy of AU-011, which is an injection to treat eye cancer, in the clinical trial phase 1b/2.

The data showed that multiple administrations of AU-011 to 46 patients were “well-tolerated” and caused adverse effects that were manageable with standard treatments.

There was also some sparkle from BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD), which rose 3.1% to 131.4p as it unearthed a record quantity of gems at its Kareevlei mine in the third quarter.

Kareevlei, which is situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, is one of the top ten highest value per carat diamond mines in the world.

The company said a record 92,500 tonnes of ore were mined in the last three months which lifted production up 45% on the same period last year, in spite of the plant being closed for 19 days in July to install a new crusher.

Carats also shot up 117% to 3,973, with each stone’s average grade increasing by a third to 4.3 carats.

11.30am: Range Resources sinks as it abandons legal action against Georgia

Range Resources Limited (LON:RRL) sank 12.5% to 0.03p in late-morning as the oil and gas firm abandoned an effort to extract damages from the country of Georgia.

The company had previously announced in June that it was seeking US$21.9mln in damages from the Caucus republic over the termination of a production sharing agreement, however, on Wednesday it said it had withdrawn its notice of arbitration.

Meanwhile, Woodford Patient Capital Trust PLC (LON:WPCT) flopped 5.6% to 32.5p after former star fund manager and the company’s namesake Neil Woodford announced he would be closing down his investment fund, which acts as WPCT’s portfolio manager, after being sacked from his flagship fund and resigning from his eponymous investment trust.

The former star fund manager was removed from the gated Woodford Equity Income fund (WEIF) by the vehicle’s authorised corporate director on Monday, a decision Woodford said he “cannot accept”.

But later that day, his firm, Woodford Investment Management, resigned as portfolio manager of WPCT before he had a chance to be fired by a board that was on the verge of making a change anyway.

In the mid-caps, it was a red letter day for FTSE 250 post carrier Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG), which fell 2.7% to 210.5p after its workers voted to go on strike during the key festive season.

Despite a new payment and productivity deal agreed in March last year on pay, pensions and working hours, Royal Mail’s relationship with its workers has deteriorated with leadership changes and ambitious productivity targets not being met.

A ballot by the Communication Workers Union with a turnout of 76% saw a 97.1% vote in favour of strike action, with separate ballots for CWU members in Parcelforce Worldwide, there was support of 95%.

Around 110,000 Royal Mail employees are CWU members and account for almost 70% of the company’s entire workforce.

9.30am: Entertainment AI ascends as YouTube audience and ad revenues jump in Q3

Entertainment AI PLC (LON:EAI) was on the ascent in early trading, jumping 12.2% to 46p, as views and ad revenues from its YouTube channel boosted third-quarter revenues.

The media platform, which floated on AIM at the end of September, said views and net revenues from its GT Channel, which uploads videos about cars and motoring, were higher in the 9 months to 30 September than for the entirety of 2018.

Net revenues for the channel in the period had risen 80% year on year to US$6.9mln, while video views increased 57% to 9bn.

Elsewhere on AIM, online clothing giant ASOS PLC (LON:ASC) was looking sharp, up 15.6% to 2,959p, after saying it had made a “solid start” to its current year.

The retailer is planning to remove “non-strategic costs”, increase the product range and keep customers engaged on social media, and is confident on its ability to increase it to a global scale.

The upbeat assessment came as a relief to investors following a torrid 12 months which saw the company’s pre-tax profits plunge 68% to £33mln after its US expansion led to operational issues and a great deal of disruption.

Small-cap IP investor Tekcapital PLC (LON:TEK) was also on the rise as its portfolio company, Salarius, brought in a new customer for its low sodium salt product, MicroSalt.

The company said Salarius would supply MicroSalt to a “diversified snack food manufacturing company”, which will include it in one of its snack food brands.

The shares were 17% higher at 6.9p on the back of the news.

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