The cinemas operator is in discussions with its landlords, the film studios and major suppliers to find ways to conserve cash; it is also curtailing all currently unnecessary capital expenditure.
Sentiment towards the stock has been boosted by Disney’s announcement that it is still hoping to achieve a theatrical release for Mulan.
12.30pm: Global Petroleum licenses seismic data for block 2011A
The company came to an agreement to license 3D seismic data on its offshore Namibia Block, 2011A (PEL0094).
This key data, acquired by previous licensees in 2010, covers the company's Welwitschia Deep prospect and Marula lead, and will enable precise mapping of these features, the company said.
11.05am: Cash runway longer than some anticipated at Avation
The aircraft leasing company has obviously been hit hard by the turmoil in the airline sector but it plans to implement several measures to support its finances during the coronavirus pandemic.
Avation said its liquidity position is “satisfactory” with total cash of US$129mln, US$53.9mln of unencumbered assets and US$11.1mln in trade receivables.
10.15am: Edenville Energy slumps as it stands down all employees at Rukwa
The developer of the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania said the recommencement of mining at Rukwa had been hit by the continuation of the rainy season.
The weather has become somewhat moot in any case as Edenville has elected to stand down Rukwa employees and suspend production with immediate effect until the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic is resolved.
9.20am: Hydrogen Group decimated after disappointing finish to 2019
The group faced a more challenging year in 2019, particularly during the fourth quarter when a number of external market factors in both the UK and parts of the Asia-Pacific region combined to reduce activity levels and, in turn, the group's net fee income and profit.
Since then, of course, the coronavirus has put a further crimp in the group’s prospects and it has elected not to recommend a final dividend in respect of 2019.
The supplier of materials for printed circuit board manufacture and provider of lighting and control solutions said revenues last year were down about 10% on the previous year.
Order books for the second quarter appear “reasonable” given the current business climate, the company said, but it admitted it has limited visibility on the second half of the financial year.
Proactive news headlines:
Regency Mines PLC (LON:RGM) has agreed on a new framework for the Mambare nickel joint venture in Papua New Guinea. Regency has agreed to take a revised 41% interest in the joint venture, with further reduction occurring if a mining lease award over the Mambare project is recommended by the relevant government agency in the next 19 months.
Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD), the global advanced materials group, has signed an exclusive distributor agreement with Dalian Yibang Technology (DLYB). The agreement is for an initial period of four years and allows DLYB exclusive distributor rights to market Haydale's electrically conductive graphene-enhanced master-batch in the Chinese and Taiwanese markets.
Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) is anticipating that it can “successfully operate for an extended period greater than a year” as it unveiled a number of measures to support its finances during the coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft leasing company said its liquidity position is “satisfactory” with total cash of US$129mln, US$53.9mln of unencumbered assets and US$11.1mln in trade receivables.
In a separate announcement, Avation said it is continuing its review of strategic options to maximise value for shareholders, including a potential sale, previously announced in January. The company confirmed that it is “engaged with multiple interested parties as part of the formal sale process” and while several parties remained interested, progress had been delayed “in light of the market dislocation resulting from the [coronavirus] pandemic”.
ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) revealed it has signed a research agreement with an unnamed “major pharmaceutical company” to develop the former’s exosome technology. In very simple layman’s terms, exosomes are used by cells to communicate and are released as tiny “nano-bubbles” into the body to do so. The AIM-listed stem cell specialist has created its own line to deliver a drug payload. Derived from the research group’s CTX neural stem cell line, the exosomes will carry gene silencing sequences developed by the pharma company.
Bidstack Group PLC’s (LON:BIDS) in-game advertising technology is to be used by game developer Codemasters Group Holdings PLC (LON:CDM) to provide ads in its games encouraging players to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Tech provided by the AIM-listed firm will be used in Codemasters’ Dirt Rally 2.0 game to show players the advice on roadside banners as they race through virtual tracks.
PCF Group Plc (LON:PCF) has said that, as approved by shareholders at its Annual General Meeting on Friday, March 6, it will be making payment to shareholders of the dividend of 0.4p on April 9. The bank pointed out that it has strong cash resources and adequate capital headroom and the size of the dividend payment - the total cash amount being £992,914.68 - does not cause any concerns for the company.
Benchmark PLC (LON:BMK), the aquaculture genetics, health and advanced nutrition company, announced that Trond Williksen will join the company as its chief executive officer (CEO) in June. Williksen is highly experienced in the international aquaculture and seafood industries, having held senior executive positions in the sector for more than 20 years, Benchmark said in a statement. Most recently he was the CEO of SalMar ASA, the Norwegian fish farm company and one of the world's largest producers of farmed salmon.
Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) said it is focused on delivering yet further growth from its “resilient” business as it unveiled a strong set of 2019 results. See-through revenues for the 12 months ended December 31 were up 16% to £144.3mln, which translated to underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £39.4mln, up 22%. The company’s star brands performed well, led by its Kelo-cote scar treatment. The figures also included a first-time contribution from Nizoral, the medicated shampoo acquired from Johnson & Johnson.
Impax Asset Management PLC (LON:IPX) saw good inflows of new money in its latest quarter, which helped partially offset the turbulence in financial markets. Assets under management were £14.4bn at end-March, compared to £16.1bn three months earlier, with £1.07bn of new money helping to counter a £2.78bn decline in the value of its funds. Ian Simm, Impax's chief executive, said it was a robust performance given the sharp fall in markets generally.
Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) (TSE:APY) has revealed it delivered record income in the year to December 31, 2019. The company saw its royalty-related revenue hit a record £55.7mln, an increase of 21% on the previous record of £46.1mln returned in 2018. This was driven by a strong performance at the Kestrel coal mine in Australia. There was also a 21% increase in operating profit to £44.8mln, despite continued investment in the business which saw operating expenses rise to £7.1mln.
ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) has reported a 91% increase in full-year earnings and said that it is in a ‘strong position” to maintain its operations during the coronavirus pandemic. For the year ended 31 December 2019, the oil drilling and production services firm reported underlying earnings (EBITDA) of US$193.4mln, up from US$101mln in 2018, while revenues surged 132% to US$477.8mln.
Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) has said it will pay an interim dividend next month after it reported "in-line" trading in the first quarter of 2020 and “good revenue growth”. In an update on Tuesday, the healthcare advisory group said it will pay an interim dividend of 1p on May 22, adding that it is aiming to declare a special dividend either before or alongside the next interim dividend, subject to future trading performance and outlook. However, to maintain “as much flexibility as possible” during uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, Cello said it had decided to withdraw its full-year final dividend.
Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) has agreed to a further farm-out of its stake in the Beetaloo shale project, in Australia, to partner Origin Energy. The company is transferring a 7.5% participating interest in the project in return for A$150mln of additional cost cover by its larger partner.
Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) has made a further shipment of gold doré containing 4,688 ounces of gold to MKS Finance SA. This is further to the company's announcement on 26 March that it was looking at other logistical options for the shipment and sale of gold doré, due to the suspension of air travel.
BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has said it produced 2,503 carats of diamonds in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 76%. The company also sold 3,267 carats during the quarter, up 77%. However, operations have been suspended on the order of the South African government and will remain on care and maintenance until the market recovers sufficiently for them to become cash-flow positive on a monthly basis.
Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) is raising new money via a financing agreement with Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC Limited and YA II PN Ltd. The company has limited working capital and therefore, the board has determined that the financing facility with Riverfort is in the best interests of the company and shareholders.
88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) told investors that it has proved movable hydrocarbons in the Charlie-1 well, with sampling confirming a large condensate discovery in the Torok formation. In a statement, however, Dave Wall, the explorer’s chief executive, described it as “a mixed result”. The main Charlie target could not be tested because the formation was found to be “poorly developed” and was therefore not sampled. Oil shows previously noted in Charlie are now deemed to be ‘residual’, the company said.
Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) has detailed a number of measures designed to protect the company amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including cost-cutting to reduce cash spending by 40%. The company has also decided to suspend the West Rustavi field operations, to conserve its gas reserves until a pipeline project completes later this year. Early production facilities are presently in transit to the field, in the Republic of Georgia. In a statement, the group said it had US$3.4mln of cash and its crude inventory was worth around US$470,000.
Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, announced that 65,550 new ordinary shares have been issued to the vendors of Cord Worldwide Limited in respect of the non-contingent deferred share consideration due on the second anniversary of Cord being acquired. In addition, Keywords said that 8,194 new ordinary shares have been issued to the vendors of Laced Music Limited in respect of the non-contingent deferred share consideration due on the second anniversary of Laced being acquired.
Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN), a multi-brand franchise business, has announced that all its directors and a number of members of senior management have elected to receive the scrip dividend instead of cash in respect of the proposed 2019 final dividend, details of which were announced on March 30.