Paul Johnson is to step down from the board at the end of the month to pursue other business interests. He will, subject to completion of regulatory due diligence, be replaced as a non-executive director on the board by Ged Hall.
Hall is a senior finance professional with a strong background in asset management and financing gained from working with blue-chip investment banks including JP Morgan and UBS over the past 20 years.
1.45pm: Doubts grow over De La Rue’s survival
The shares plunged 20% to0 140p after the board warned of a “material uncertainty” over the company's ability to continue as a going concern as deteriorating trading conditions cast doubts over its banking arrangements.
Just weeks after its second profit warning of the year, the security printing company, which prints all of the Bank of England's banknotes, swung to a half-year loss and suspended its dividend in order to manage net debt levels, warning that it could be in danger of breaching its banking covenants.
12.30pm: It's murder at WANdisco (well, "mild disappointment)
The contract is with a Fortune 500 technology company that is an existing customer of WANdisco.
The customer has signed up for a version of WANdisco’s Fusion technology that has more bells and whistles than its current package.
11.15am: Shareholders not amused by Victoria's interims
Underlying profit before tax in the 26 weeks to 28 September dipped 2% to £27.5mln from £28.2mln the year before while net debt increased to £364.3mln from £342.7mln 12 months earlier.
Net debt now stands at 3.3 times last year’s underlying earnings (EBITDA), up from a multiple of 3.1 a year ago.
10.30am: Checkit shareholders check out
Shares in Checkit PLC (LON:CKT) crashed 21% to 43p after the software firm announced the results of its tender off to buy back shares.
Of the 152.73mln sales that shareholders offered for repurchase, 124mln were bought at 65p a pop, burning an £80.6mln hole in the real-time operations management software provider’s pocket.
Shareholders should get their dosh by 5 December. Those who hold their shares in certificated form receive something called “a cheque” (ask your granddad).
9.30am: Pets at Home raises the bar; IMImobile's strong growth continues
The 28-weeks to 10 October saw year-on-year like-for-like (LFL) revenue growth of 7.8% on the retail side of the business while the veterinary arm saw underlying LFL revenue rise 6.4%.
“Given progress in the first half, we remain confident about the rest of the year despite continued consumer uncertainty, and expect full-year profit towards top end of current market consensus,” the retailer said.
The cloud communications software and solutions provider said performance in the six months to the end of September had been on line with expectations with year-on-year organic revenue growth of 18%.
Profit before tax improved to £1.30mln from £1.16mln in the corresponding period of 2018.
Proactive news headlines:
Rockfire Resources PLC (LON:ROCK) has returned broad, consistent gold assays from a geophysical target on its Plateau gold project in Australia. The results are indicative of a large-scale gold deposit, similar to the Mt Wright gold mine, which is in turn part of the 10mln ounce-plus Ravenswood complex. Of particular note was gold mineralisation occurring almost continuously throughout a 215-metre deep hole, including 177 metres at 0.5 grams per tonne gold.
Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) has received encouraging first results from hydrogeological drilling at the Kapunda ISR (in-situ recovery) copper project in Australia. Associate EnviroCopper drilled three holes and two screened wells at Kapunda to test the potential for an ISR operation – where ore is dissolved in the ground and the solution pumped to the surface to extract the metals.
Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) has received support “in principle” for a restructuring of an outstanding US$4.3mln loan plus interest. The restructuring involves a 12-month extension on existing terms, including a 12% annual interest rate and the ability for lenders to swap debt for equity in part or in full at a conversion price of 10p per share
Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB) said it expects to make “significant savings” from delisting its depositary shares from America’s NASDAQ market. It will remain listed on AIM in the UK. Following the wind-down of its business, Motif Bio will become a cash shell
Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) said its consulting division is breaking into new sectors and landing contracts with bigger customers. The division has recently signed numerous agreements including three with companies in the automotive, insurance and property sectors.
Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) said it is taking a “stepwise approach” to its upcoming phase III trial of its Grass MATA MPL vaccine for hay fever. Instead of embarking on one large study it will split the process in two – covering the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 pollen seasons. This will allow Allergy to carry out an interim analysis of the data at the halfway stage.
Coinsilium Group Limited (LON:COIN) has unveiled plans to launch a blockchain software and smart contract development studio in Gibraltar. The blockchain investment and advisory firm said under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with tech firm Devmons Management. Under the MOU the two companies will rebrand Consilium’s Gibraltar subsidiary, TerraStream, as ‘TerraStream Blockchain Solutions’ (TBS), while Devmons’ co-founder, Matej Galvanek, will immediately join the new studio as a technology advisor.
Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) has completed the €4.1mln purchase of a 51% stake in Setcar, the Romanian waste management and decontamination services business. In a brief statement, the graphene products specialist said the new operation will be renamed Directa Environmental Solutions.
SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) reported cash balances in line with expectations at the end of its financial year and said it has identified five “channels” for the development of its existing and new skin health technology. In the year to 30 June, the AIM-listed company completed its first human cosmetic study, appointed Stuart Ashman as its chief executive and began the discussions that resulted in a first commercial deal earlier this month.
Following on from the feasibility study for its BKM copper project in Indonesia, Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) has designed an exploration programme focused on some of the walk-up targets nearby. The walk-up targets have the potential to add significant value by extending the mine life beyond the initial nine years that have been modelled. Also, these targets are expected to add heap-leachable copper resources to those already defined.
i3 Energy PLC (LON:i3E) confirmed that its Liberator Well 13/23c-11 reached target depth and encountered reservoir sands. In a statement, the company said the well encountered the Valhall shale as planned and cut around 220 feet of sand in the Captain reservoir. A quick analysis of the well’s initial findings indicates that, at this location, some 20 feet of the Captain sand with oil indications were found to be above the expected oil-water contact point (OWC), at 5,270 feet.
AfriTin Mining Limited (LON:ATM) has raised £3.8mln through the issue of unsecured and convertible loan notes to tin trader AfriMet Resources. Money raised from the loan will also fund this ramp-up and also tests on the lithium discovery within the pegmatite ore body. Conversion of the notes would give AfriMet a 5.8% stake in AfriTin.