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Kape Technologies soars as it creates the "first global privacy and security company"

A look at the major market movers in London on Friday

Stagecoach Group PLC -

Shares rose heroically at Kape Technologies PLC (LON:KAPE), up 9.4% at 163.5p after the firm announced it will finish acquiring LTMI Holdings on Monday.

The cybersecurity group will acquire US digital privacy firm LTMI for US$95.5mln, and it expects the purchase to immediately boost earnings, with the enlarged group anticipated to generate sales between US$120-123mln in 2020.

Kape’s chief executive Ido Erlichman said: "This transaction is in effect creating the first global privacy and security company; and will allow us to accelerate our mission to create a more transparent and secure online environment for our customers.”

Over at Hurricane Energy PLC’s (LON:HUR), shares blazed 14% higher to 34.4p after saying it expected to bring in US$165mln of revenue by the end of 2019, thanks to the continuing successes of the Lancaster field early production system (EPS).

The Lancaster EPS is seen performing strongly which, for investors, is in contrast to the disappointing end to the 2019 drill campaign at Hurricane’s 50% owned Greater Warwick Area.

Lancaster is set to have produced around 3.1mln barrels of crude for the year (after the May start-up) with the rate averaging 13,300 barrels of oil per day since coming online  – the rate has been constrained whilst Hurricane gathers valuable production data.

Elsewhere, Hollywood Bowl Group PLC (LON:BOWL) rose 9.8% to 258p as it announced the new financial year started in line with expectations as expansion continues.

The ten-pin bowling operator said in its preliminary results it has a target of seven to ten investments in the current year, as well as the opening of one new bowling centre and three mini-golf centres, plus further expenditure in technology.

In the year to 30 September, total revenues increased 8% to £129.9mln, while pre-tax profit jumped 15% to £27.6mln and net debt shrank 16% to £2.1mln.

2.30pm: Slow hiring hits Nakama Group 

Nakama Group plc (LON:NAK) plunged 29% to 0.85p on Friday after the recruiter posted falling first-half profits, adding that it was “considering restructuring options”.

Pre-tax profit slumped to £20,000 in the six months to the end of September, down from £186,000 last year, due to a fall in sales and slashing its headcount by 30%.

'The first half has seen numerous challenges across the group,' chief executive Robert Thesiger said, adding that he was “encouraged with the results and resultant relative stability that the business is now displaying compared to the second half of 2018”.

Amiad Water Systems Ltd (LON:AFS) flowed 16% lower to 227p as the filtration company warned shareholders about an expected US$3mln-US$5mln dilution of profits, as it faced lower revenues, falling margins and new accounting rules.

Net profit for the full year will be “materially impacted” because adopting IFRS 16 means its results will be worse affected by fluctuations in the Israeli shekel, the Israel-based company said in a trading update on Friday.

Moreover, Amiad blamed “lower-than-anticipated sales in the second half” for its inability to “offset the impact on gross margin of large, lower-margin projects completed in the first half of the year”.

12.30pm: IAG takes off as HSBC upgrades 

International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC (LON:IAG) was a strong gainer at lunchtime, up over 10% to 616.20p after global bank HSBC upgraded its rating for the owner of British Airways in a post-election note.

HSBC raised both IAG and dual-listed Irish rival Ryanair PLC (LON:RYA) to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ after upping target prices for both to reflect a lifting of political uncertainty in the UK.

In a note to clients, the bank’s analysts said that short term they expect the pound and UK consumer and business confidence to strengthen, but added that uncertainty could return late 2020.

10.20am: Restore appoints former Workspace boss as non-exec

Restore Plc (LON:RST), the document management specialist, rose 3.5% to 505p after it appointed Jamie Hopkins as an independent non-executive director.

Hopkins, the former chief executive officer of Workspace Group, will replace company chairman Martin Towers as chairman of the Remuneration Committee.

After six years' service, James Wilde has advised the company that he wishes to step down from the board in May 2020.

9.30am: Housebuilders lead the FTSE 250 charge as traders bet on an end to Brexit uncertainty

The FTSE 250 index was up 3.9% in the first hour of trading in reaction to a convincing victory for the Conservative Party in yesterday’s General Election.

The index is home to far more UK-focused companies than its big brother, the FTSE 100, and three stocks – Stagecoach Group PLC (LON:SGC), Savills PLC (LON:SVS) and Bellway PLC (LON:BWY) – are up by more than 10% this morning, boosted by the removal of uncertainty n the home front now that the UK has a government with a comfortable majority.

Stagecoach, the transport operator, was the top performer with an 11.7% rise to 147.6p as the admittedly slight prospect of the railways being renationalised disappears into the distance.

Savills, the estate agency group, joined a plethora of housebuilding companies on the charge as traders took the view that the uncertainty over Brexit that has slowed the housing market in Britain will now recede.

Featuring prominently among the few FTSE 250 stocks to fall back were trusts that invest overseas, such as Worldwide Healthcare Trust PLC (LON:WWH), Baillie Gifford Japan Trust PLC (LON:BGFD) and Fidelity China Special Situations PLC (LON:FCSS).

Proactive news headlines:

Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) expects it will have brought in some US$165mln of revenue by the end of 2019, thanks to the continuing successes of the Lancaster field early production system (EPS). It comes as the Lancaster EPS is seen performing strongly which, for investors, is in contrast to the disappointing end to the 2019 drill campaign at Hurricane’s 50% owned Greater Warwick Area.

Anglesey Mining PLC (LON:AYM) said in its half-year results statement it remains encouraged by the continued support for iron ore prices. The period under review – the six months to the end of September – saw consultant QME carry out an agreed programme of design, engineering and optimisation studies relating to the future development of the Parys Mountain zinc, copper lead project, located on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

Ferro-Alloy Resources Limited (LON:FAR) has expanded its existing vanadium concentrate processing operations as it continues financing discussions to develop its Balasausqandiq project in Kazakhstan. The company said its production in October had also reached a record of 18.2 tonnes of concentrate and it is expecting a “significant increase in monthly production” from mid-December as the new equipment becomes fully operational.

ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) announced that its shares will be dual-listed on Euronext Growth Brussels with effect from 19 December 2019, following approval by the European exchange, a move which will bring the company “additional visibility among European investors”. The AIM-listed specialist drug discovery and development company said the new listing – under the ticker ALIMM - does not affect the trading of its shares on AIM in London, nor is there any intention for it to raise additional funds from either AIM or Euronext.

Custodian REIT (LON:CREI), the UK property investment company, has announced the appointment of Hazel Adam as a non-executive director with effect from 12 December 2019. The company noted that Mrs Adam was an investment analyst with Scottish Life until 1996 and then joined Standard Life Investments as a fund manager specialising in UK and then Emerging Market equities; in 2005 she joined Goldman Sachs International as an executive director on the new markets equity sales desk before moving to HSBC in 2012, holding a similar equity sales role until 2016.

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