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Proactive news snapshot: Digitalbox, Ariana Resources, ECR Minerals, Allergy Therapeutics …

A glance at some of the day's highlights from the Proactive Investors newswire

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Your daily round-up from the world of Proactive

Digitalbox PLC (LON:DBOX) has hailed its first year as a digital media business as adjusted pre-tax profits for 2019 came in ahead of market expectations. The AIM-listed firm, which owns celebrity news site Entertainment Daily and satire brand The Daily Mash, said in a trading update that revenues and operating margins had also come in ahead of forecasts, with the growth attributed to its Insights programme which is designed to analyse user behaviour and inform content strategy.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) produced a record 27,985 ounces of gold in 2019 surpassing its forecast for the year by almost 12%. The output from its Kiziltepe mine in Turkey in the fourth quarter was also close to a new record said Kerim Sener, the miner’s managing director. Ariana added it now expects to repay the development loan taken out to build Kiziltepe in full in April.

Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) expects to report results for 2019 in line with consensus market expectations. The group enjoyed strong cash flow in the second half of last year, as is the norm, and conversion of operating profit into cash flow was strong; as a result, the group ended the year with a better net cash position than the market was expecting.

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON: AGY) has continued to notch up good growth while it prepares for the phase III trial of its hay fever vaccine later this year. Revenues in the six months to December 31 2019 rose by 9% to £50.5mln with growth across all major countries, though Germany, Spain, Netherlands and Switzerland did the best. The group's Pollinex Quattro and sting treatment Venomil were the best performers.

Stobart Group Ltd (LON:STOB) has updated investors regarding the UK government’s support of Flybe, and, the company’s involvement via the Connect Airways business. Connect Airways is 30% owned by Stobart, alongside partners Virgin Atlantic (30%) and Cyrus Capital (40%) which together previously acquired the assets of Flybe. The London-listed company firm noted that the consortium provided £110mln of funds to Connect Airways, and, Stobart Group has invested £45mln – as a combination of cash and the sale of Stobart Air, Stobart Group's regional airline, and its aircraft leasing business, Propius.

Stobart Group has also received notification that Toscafund Asset Management has increased its holding in the company to 18.8%, up from 11.7% previously.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) has announced that its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia (MGA) has received a cash refund for research and development (R&D) expenditure of A$555,212 (approximately £295,515) under the Australian government’s R&D Tax Incentive scheme. In a statement, the precious metals exploration and development company said the qualifying activities pertain to research into turbidite-hosted gold deposits within MGA’s exploration licences in Victoria, Australia.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) chief executive Bill Higgs has celebrated 2019 as a “successful year” for the Iraq focussed oil and gas firm. In a trading update, ahead of full-year financial results due for release on 17 March, the group told investors that it delivered some 36,250 barrels of net oil production per day from the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq. The company pointed out that it brought 19 wells into production during 2019.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) has highlighted what it says are “very encouraging” results from sample assays at its Pilbara goldfield tenements in Western Australia. The AIM-listed explorer reported three samples had assayed above 0.3 grammes per tonne (g/t) of gold, while one assay had reported 0.9 g/t.

Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) comfortably beat its 2019 production forecast even with reduced output from the New Luika mine in the fourth quarter. The Tanzania-based miner produced 19,550 ounces (oz) of gold in the last three months taking the yearly total to 84,500oz, 500oz better than the top of the guided range. Head grade in the last three months was 3.8 grammes per tonne (g/t) compared to 4.5 g/t in the previous quarter.

Galantas Gold Corp (LON:GAL) told investors that it is continuing “positive discussions” with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) with a view to resume blasting operations at the Omagh gold mine. Current blasting arrangements at the Northern Ireland mine require supervision by the PSNI and Galantas noted that the current arrangements are not sufficient for the company’s desired level of operations.

Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) has reiterated its expectation for growth to be “towards the upper end” of its organic gross profit guidance for the current year. The pharma and services group, which supplies drugs for clinical trials and distributes unlicensed and speciality pharmaceuticals, said it expects revenue growth of 16% for the first six months of its financial year to 31 December, with constant currency growth of 24%.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) said 2019 was a record year for crystalline iodine production by the company and it expects this year's output to grow even more. In a market update, Iofina said full-year crystalline iodine production totalled 602.7 tonnes in 2019, up from 588.8 tonnes in 2018, with 316 tonnes of the 2019 total being produced in the second half of the year. The company currently expects to produce between 315 and 345 tonnes of crystalline iodine in the first half of this year.

Alba Mineral Resources PLC (LON:ALBA) is aiming to advance exploration and development of its Clogau and Amitsoq projects in 2020 to drive the two sites toward commercial production. In an update on its work plans for the coming year, the AIM-listed miner said exploration at Clogau, a gold project in Wales, will continue to assess and refine a plan to reopen the historic Clogau-St David’s gold mine for commercial production, while results from a diamond drilling campaign at the site are expected by the end of January.

Woodbois Ltd (LON:WBI) on Thursday announced a “cash flow enhancement” as it revealed details of deals with past vendors and certain lenders. The aim is to accelerate the African timber company's growth as it moves toward a cashflow positive position during 2020, the forestry firm said in a statement.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) has announced that it has delivered the second in a series of five new ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft to Braathens Regional Airways AB from the manufacturer's facility in Toulouse, France. The commercial passenger aircraft leasing company said that, as with the first delivery to Braathens, this second delivery was financed with a "Green Loan" provided by Deutsche Bank.

IXICO PLC (LON:IXI) investor BGF, a £2bn UK investment fund, has praised the neuroscience analytics firm as having a “market leading position” and “impressive commercial traction”.The comments were made during the following Q&A session with Paul Stevens, a member of BGF’s investment team who focuses on identifying opportunities among AIM-listed companies.

VR Education Holdings PLC (LON:VRE) is forecasting “continued strong growth” and accelerated adoption of virtual reality technology in 2020 as standalone devices and 5G become more widely available. In a trading update for the year ended 31 December, VRE’s chief executive David Whelan said standalone devices such as the Oculus Quest VR headset, made by Facebook, will result in VR adoption becoming “more mainstream”, and, as such, the firm will see “strong growth of sales” for its showcase experiences as well as accelerated adoption of its ENGAGE platform, which allows users to create their own simulated environments for teaching or demonstrations.

Capital Drilling Ltd (LON:CAPD) revealed a 4.8% increase in quarter-on-quarter revenue growth to US$30.7mln in the three months ended 31 December. For the full year, the company brought in US$114.8mln of revenue, in the middle of guidance for US$110mln to US$120mln.

Tekcapital PLC (LON:TEK), the UK intellectual property (IP) investment group focused on creating marketplace value from investing in university technology, said it will exhibit at the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) annual meeting, the largest gathering of academic technology transfer professionals. AUTM is made up of over 3,100 technology transfer professionals committed to commercialising university research. Tekcapital's Invention Evaluator, and Vortechs Group business units look forward to attending the conference at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, and to meeting with current and prospective clients.

APQ Global Limited (LON:APQ), the emerging markets growth company based in Guernsey, said it has issued a total of 26,578 ordinary shares to employees as part of the 2018 management share-based compensation scheme, including Bart Turtelboom, its chief executive officer, who has received 23,366 Ordinary Shares. The price used in calculating the number of shares awarded under the 2018 Scheme was the book value per share as at 31 December 2017 of 128.11 US cents. Following this issue, the firm noted, Turtelboom is interested in 22,191,927 ordinary shares representing 28.35% of the company's issued share capital.

Landore Resources (LON:LND) announced that a new corporate presentation is now available to view on the company's website.

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