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St James House crumbles as lottery numbers fail to come up

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

Big Sofa - Big Sofa Technologies sitting pretty after securing deal with US food and drink giant
St James' lottery management arm helps societies raise funds from lotteries and scratchcards

Lottery management and payments specialist St James House PLC (LON:SJH) tanked 67% to 17.5p by mid-afternoon as its lucky numbers failed to come up and resulted in a profit warning.

The AIM-listed group, which changed its name from Boxhill Technologies earlier this year, said delays in issuing pre-paid cards for its new payment account service, particularly to a major client, meant that the target date for its full issue had been pushed back to January, and as a result it did not expect an improvement in its financial performance during the second half of its current year.

To make matters worse, the group also said its working capital position remained “constrained” as growth in its lottery management business failed to offset the losses from its payment division Caused by the card issue delays.

In the mid-caps, FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings PLC (LON:CRST) subsided 6% to 383.4p as it warned investors profits will follow a downward trend over the next year, only to pick up in 2021.

In a trading update, the company said this year’s profit before tax is expected to be between £120mln and £130mln, dropping to between £110mln and £120mln in 2020 excluding exceptional charges, with “strong” growth thereafter.

This year’s accounts will factor in an extra £17mln expense to replace combustible materials as the government tightened regulations after the Grenfell Tower fire, the group said.

Meanwhile, junior miner Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) sparked a 17% rise to 0.3p after announcing that it had recently begun talks with potential investors about a second of its projects while also expecting an initial resource estimate from the Bonya prospect in Australia before the end of the year.

In its latest quarterly review, Thor's executive chairman Mick Billing said management has started “cutting non-essential project and corporate expenditure in order to conserve cash resources” while it continued to carry out talks with investors about its core Molyhil project and now also with US investors about the Pilot Mountain project in Nevada.

1.15pm: Pennant soars on contract award, approval for Qatar training programme

Aircraft and helicopter training specialist Pennant International Group PLC (LON:PEN) soared 13.3% to 85.5p in early afternoon as the firm delivered a double dose of good news.

The first was the award of a £3.4mln new contract to design and build a helicopter maintenance training aid to help the UK military train on ‘anti-surface’ weapons systems, which will run across 2020 and 2021.

Meanwhile, Pennant said it had also had four of its training aids accepted by the government of Qatar, with revenue and profits from these to be recognised in the current year.

In the oilers, Echo Energy flowed up 3.5% to 3p as it decided on the location for the first of a four-well exploration drilling programme at the Tapi Aike licence in Argentina.

The well is in Chiripia Oeste, the eastern portion of the Tapi Aike 3D survey area, and will be re-named Campo La Mata x-1 (CLM x-1).

Spudding is expected in December with the well to be drilled in two vertical sections.

In the fallers, banking giant Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) galloped 1.4% lower to 56.8p after its third quarter profits fell 97% in the wake of a big hit from PPI mis-selling charges.

Statutory profit before tax crashed to £50mln from £1.82bn in the same period last year, mainly due to £1.8bn of provisions for PPI compensation, well short of the average analyst forecast of £163mln.

Last month the bank suspended its share buyback as it warned of likely £1.2bn-£1.8bn PPI charges due to a spike in complaints in the final weeks leading up to the 29 August deadline, taking its total bill to around £26bn.

Underlying profits were also lower, down 12% to £1.82bn as net income fell 6% to £4.2bn due to a 2% dip in interest income and 12% fall in other income.

11.00am: CyanConnode suffers Halloween horror show as Indian contract delays cause profit warning

Radio network firm CyanConnode Holdings PLC (LON:CYAN) had its own horror show this Halloween after contract delays sent its shares plunging 36% to 2.6p in late-morning trading.

The AIM-listed firm said substantial contract awards in India were still taking “longer than anticipated” following the country’s general election, which had caused previous delays.

As a result, Cyan said that while the contracts were expected in the coming weeks, it was now “unlikely to meet market expectations for 2019”.

In the FTSE 100, oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON:RDSB) slipped 4% to 2,229.5p after its third-quarter profit dropped by 15% on weaker oil prices.

The blue-chip firm reported net income attributable to shareholders, based on a current cost of supplies (CCS) and excluding identified items, of $4.77 billion, down from $5.62 billion a year earlier, well below the consensus forecast of $6.47 billion.

The firm saw its oil and gas production in the quarter decline by 1% year-on-year to 3.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

In the risers, InnovaDerma PLC (LON:IDP) jumped 6.7% to 80p on news that it will launch a new category and brand in 800 Superdrug stores that could eventually generate sales of up to £80mln a year.

The exact details are being kept under wraps until closer to launch date.

However, the maker of the popular Skinny Tan range said it and the retailer’s efforts will be focused on the “topical side of the business”.

9.30am: Big Sofa Technologies sitting pretty after securing deal with US food and drink giant

Big Sofa Technologies Group PLC (LON:BST) shares were sitting comfortably on an 8.9% gain at 4.3p in early deals after it was selected as a global systems partner by one of the world’s largest food and drink companies.

The video analytics firm said the US-based client had committed to an initial spend of over US$400,000, which was expected to be added to the company’s revenues for 2019, to license BST’s technology platform and embed it into the organisation.

The firm added that the new client is expected to generate “substantial revenues” across 2020 and beyond.

Meanwhile, Simec Atlantis Energy PLC (LON:SAE) surged 17% to 11.9p as it was chosen to supply tidal generation equipment and offshore construction services for a demonstration project in Japan.

The Y1,800 (£13mln) project is in the straits of Naru Island and is being run by Kyuden Mirai Energy.

Atlantis expects to deliver and install the tidal generator by late third quarter 2020, with completion of the demonstration in the first quarter of 2021.

In the losers, troubled flooring firm Carpetright plc (LON:CPR) became CarpetWrong, crashing 47% to 4.8p after it unveiled a steeply discounted rescue bid by its largest shareholder, asset manager Meditor, to avoid the firm folding under a mountain of debt.

The 5p per share cash offer is a 45% discount to Carpetright’s Wednesday close price and values the firm at around £15.2mln compared to its £27.7mln market cap.

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