Trakm8 feeling the effects of the coronavirus lockdown

A look at some of the major movers in London on Monday

Novacyt SA -

Trakm8 Holdings PLC (LON:TRAK) tumbled 13% to 14p after it became the latest company to bemoan the impact of the coronavirus on trading.

The telematics specialist said revenue for the year to the end of March was in line with previous guidance but noted that the coronavirus hit its business in the last two weeks of the fiscal year with delays to orders and hardware shipments.

“Current trading is reduced particularly in our Fleet business due to the impact of the lock-down for our customers in some business sectors. This is compounded by the difficulty of not being able to undertake installations into vehicles for those fleets continuing to work, some of whom are even busier than before,” the company’s statement said.

11.30am: Hurricane sets the Lancaster oilfield’s production guidance for 2020

Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) tumbled 11% to 10.5p on the day of its online capital markets day presentation.

The company told investors it has sufficient confidence to set the Lancaster oilfield’s production guidance for 2020 at 18,000 barrels of oil per day.

It comes after a warning earlier in April that water volumes in the West of Shetland oil field had increased, to around 26%, with some 6,000 barrels per day noted alongside oil output.

10.30am: Empire Metals enters new era with acquisition of stake in a palladium project

Empire Metals Limited (LON:EEE) surged 32% to 1.25p after it agreed to acquire an interest in a palladium project in Western Australia.

The company has agreed to buy a 41% interest in the Munni Munni Palladium Project in the West Pilbara and has first right of refusal on a further 29% interest in the project.

“Over the past 18 months, the company has been actively reviewing a number of exciting opportunities to fulfil the objective of de-risking our growth strategy by diversifying away from a single jurisdiction investment. We believe the opportunity presented with the Munni Munni Project in Australia satisfies this goal by combining an exceptional project with an attractive and mature investment environment," said Empire’s chief executive officer, Mike Struthers.

9.30am: Novacyt and Omega Diagnostics charge higher on coronavirus news

Novacyt SA (LON:NCYT), one of this year’s star performers, was on the rise again in early trade on Monday, up 16% at 430p, after it won a new supply contract.

The international specialist in clinical diagnostics has signed a supply contract with the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for its coronavirus (COVID-19) polymerase chain reaction test.

Novacyt will supply the test to the DHSC for an initial term of six months, starting from May 4. Novacyt has initially committed to the supply of 288,000 tests per week to the DHSC for use in the NHS, with the option to expand the agreement. Shares in Novacyt ended 2019 at 13p.

Omega Diagnostics Group PLC (LON:ODX), which ended 2019 trading at 14.4p, rocketed 39% to 53p this morning on news of a CE mark for an antibody test for COVID-19.

The CE-Mark follows successful independent validation of Mologic's ELISA test by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and St George's, University of London.

Ongoing validations are being performed by Public Health England, NHS Scotland and in the Republic of Ireland, said Omega, which will be manufacturing up to 46,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

Proactive news headlines:

Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP) has confirmed new discoveries as it announced results from the hotly anticipated Saffron well located in the South West Peninsula, onshore Trinidad. Drilling began in October and testing took place in February. Saffron was drilled down to 4,634 feet and it encountered some 2,363 feet of gross sands across six intervals of interest (with net-to-gross stated at 47%). Oil discoveries have been confirmed in the Lower Cruse and Middle Cruse formations, Columbus said in a statement. Six intervals have been earmarked for testing, and, three have been done to date - two in the Lowe Cruse and one in the Middle Cruse.

Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) and its partner Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) have announced an extension of the Ruvuma licence by Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy by one additional year, commencing April 17, 2020. Importantly, the extension was one of the last remaining conditions required for Aminex to complete a farm-out transaction with ARA Petroleum. It is expected that the partners will acquire 200 square kilometres of 3D seismic (estimated gross cost of US$7mln) and drill the Chikumbi-1 exploration well (at least US$15mln). These programmes are expected to provide key inputs into an application for a development licence for the Ntorya project area.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS) (NASDAQ:TLSA) said it has acquired the slow release version of an antibiotic drug used to treat cancer and which could be deployed in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). The nano-particle formulation Actinomycin D, or Act, was developed by Dr Kunwar Shailubhai, the company’s chief executive, during his time at Rasna Therapeutics. Tiziana is handing over to Rasna an initial US$120,000 and will make additional milestone payments of up to US$630,000.

Union Jack Oil PLC’s (LON:UJO) has said it's West Newton A-2 well, which is located onshore, north of the River Humber in East Yorkshire, has been given the green light for a testing programme. In a statement, Union Jack said a positive decision document has been issued by Environment Agency to well operator Rathlin Energy. Union Jack holds a 16.665% interest in the well, which will now be advanced with Rathlin approved to use mechanical methods (pumpjack/nodding donkey) for testing.

Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN) (NASDAQFIRSTNORTH:FARON) has said it is donating interferon beta-1a drug supplies to treat 2,000 patients taking part in a globally crucial coronavirus (COVID-19) study. The World Health Organisation's Solidarity trial is assessing four drug options, including the Faron candidate, known as Traumakine, in combination with the HIV drug lopinavir. They will be compared with the current standard of care in order to assess efficacy. Faron believes its interferon beta-1a drug may help protect against serious lung complications.

CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has said trading in the first quarter of 2020 was in line with expectations despite the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it reported record 2019 results. The provider of internet domain names and internet services also said it does not expect its business to be significantly hit by COVID-19. In its results statement covering the year ended December 31, 2019, CentralNic celebrated a record year with revenue up 95% to US$109.2mln from US$56.0mln in 2018; excluding the effect of acquisitions, revenue rose 61% year-on-year. Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) were up 96% to US$17.9mln from US$9.1mln the previous year.

Greencoat UK Wind PLC (LON:UKW) has agreed to buy the South Kyle wind farm for £320mln from Vattenfall Wind Power. The consideration for the purchase will be due when the farm commences commercial operations, which is expected in the first quarter of 2023. South Kyle is located five kilometres to the east of Dalmellington on the boundary of Dumfries & Galloway and East Ayrshire in Scotland.

88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) has launched an all-paper takeover bid for XCD Energy, with a view to creating a consolidated Alaska-focused exploration company. XCD holds some 195,373 acres on the North Slope in Project Peregrine which would add to 88 Energy’s 480,000 acres which span across the Project Icewine and Yukon licences. The XCD assets are described as “attractive and complimentary”. 88 Energy’s unsolicited bid is worth A$7.5mln - the offer is 1.67 new 88 Energy shares per XCD share, plus 0.5 88 Energy shares per XCD listed option - and it already has the backing of major XCD shareholders accounting for 18.5% of the equity and 6.8% of the options.

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC’s (LON:CCS) chief executive has predicted “a big year” ahead for the firm as it reported higher revenues for its 2019. For the 12 months ended December 31, the AIM-listed group posted revenue of £1.3mln, up from £1.07mln in the prior year, while its pre-tax losses fell to £2.1mln from £2.13mln. In the statement, Crossword's CEO Tom Ilube said the company’s pipeline is currently standing at around £6mln, split between both its products and consulting services, and that these funds will allow the firm to drive business growth over the next 12 months.

ADM Energy PLC (LON:ADME) has told investors that operations at the OML 113 assets in Nigeria remain largely uninterrupted during the global coronavirus pandemic, with production levels remaining stable. In a corporate update, the company said it is “well-positioned to withstand current market volatility", with coronavirus (COVID-19) protection measures implemented to reduce cost base. It also said it has secured finance for working capital purposes and has agreed a two-month extension for a refundable deposit payment.

accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) has said its current liquidity will support its operations into the autumn as it predicted customer demand at its client theme parks and attractions is “likely to rebound strongly” following the coronavirus pandemic. In a business update on Monday, the electronic queuing and ticketing specialist said it has US$19.5mln currently available in cash and undrawn facilities, adding that its monthly operating cost run rate has been reduced by US$2.6mln to around US$3.8mln through a number of cost-saving initiatives. The company said it is in “constructive discussion” with an existing credit provider to increase its liquidity headroom as well as considering additional funding options.

In a separate announcement, accesso said it has appointed Fern MacDonald as its chief financial officer with immediate effect. MacDonald has served as accesso’s senior vice president of finance since May 2018, before which she worked as executive vice president, finance, at workforce management solutions firm Workforce Logiq.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has confirmed that the first shipment of equipment for the construction of its Baita Plai project in Romania has arrived in the port of Constanta in Romania. The equipment, which includes railways tracks and locomotives, is currently being loaded onto trucks for transport to Baita Plai, which is located around 500 miles from Constanta. In a statement, Vast said the shipping schedules of the remaining containers of equipment remain on track. The first two shipments contain the integral equipment required to commence production at Baita Plai, it added.

Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS) has revealed that its chief executive officer (CEO), Ashley Stephenson, is to switch roles to become the chief technology officer. In his place, the company announced the appointment of Lionel Chmilewsky as an executive director and CEO designate of the company with effect from May 1. Chmilewsky has more than 30 years’ experience in the networking and telecommunications business and was most recently CEO of Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited, a wireless access solutions company. Meanwhile, Corero has also found itself a group financial director. Neil Pritchard, who has held senior financial positions at several companies such as Delta PLC and Synthomer PLC, will replace Andrew Miller as the company’s bean-counter.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) has secured an EU-wide patent for Grafysorber, its graphene-based technology to treat water and sludge contaminated with hydrocarbons. The AIM-listed firm said the patent covers produced waters, refinery waters, and any kind of wastewater which contains relatively low but still dangerous amounts of hydrocarbons.

Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH) has closed its US$13.8mln fundraising following the issue of 42mln shares at 26p per share. Following admission, Chaarat chairman Martin Andersson will hold just under 40% of the shares, via a major stake held through his investment vehicle Labro, and a smaller personal holding.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR) said on Friday that it has received £25,000 of outstanding monies from a participant in its recent £302,000 fundraising. A further £150,000 remains outstanding from a participant in the placing element of the fundraising, the group added in a statement. The company has received some money from the investor in question, however, and said it “reasonably expects settlement in full” on the basis of assurances given to it by its broker Brandon Hill Capital.

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CAL) announced that its annual general meeting (AGM) for 2020 will still be held on May 6, 2020, but that, as Jersey's Minister for Health and Social Services has now extended the coronavirus lockdown measures until May 11, attendance will be convened with the minimum necessary quorum of two shareholders, and other shareholders will not be allowed to attend. The group said shareholders are strongly encouraged to exercise their vote by appointing the chairman of the AGM or the management nominees in accordance with the instructions on the proxy form. It said the results of voting will be announced as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the AGM.

Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX), a commercial-stage, pharmaceutical company with a focus on addressing iron deficiency with its lead product Feraccru/Accrufer (ferric maltol), a novel oral iron treatment, announced that further to the announcement issued on April 22, Tim Watts has joined its board with immediate effect as the group's chief executive officer.

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