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SimiGon climbs after contract renewal

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

Carclo -

SimiGon Ltd (LON:SIM), which specialises in military simulations for training purposes, saw its shares rise 7.7% to 7p after a contract renewal.

The United States Air Force has awarded the company a contract extension to continue its contractor logistics support for SimiGon's SIMbox-based T-6A Level 5 FAA Compliant Flight Training Devices.

The initial extension period for which the company will be entitled to invoice for its service, is worth up to US$700,000.

1.30pm: Brave Bison's new direction proving a hit

Brave Bison PLC (LON:BBSN) stampeded 16% higher to 1.45p after it claimed its new publishing strategy is working well.

The social video company said that since rolling out its new strategy in October 2019 it has seen a sharp increase in key performance indicators in the various social media channels.

The company added that although the full effects of the coronavirus on publishing are unknown, with people now consuming more content from the comfort of their homes, “Brave Bison's owned and operated brands remain resilient to disruption”.

12.30pm: Westminster Group shares see feverish buying interest

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) shares were up 22% at 11p as investors focused on the technology solutions provider’s fever screening kit and associated equipment.

READ Westminster sees orders surge for fever screening equipment

The company revealed towards the end of last month that it had received an order for its Walk Through Dever Detector & Metal Detector from an American football team described as a “multiple NFL Super Bowl-winning side” – so, not the Detroit Lions, then.

That sale was followed up by an enquiry and sale indication from a basketball team described as a recent consecutive winner of the NBA Finals.

11.30am: Reverse takeover hopes rise at Motif after board overhaul

Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB), the bombed-out stock that is now a cash shell, shot up 278% to 0.7p after some boardroom changes.

The group’s chief executive officer, Graham Lumsden, will step down from the role but remain on the board as a non-executive director, while Jonthan Gold, currently the chief financial officer, will become president and chief business officer.

Chris Wardhaugh, who was described as having an impressive transaction history working on deals including product licensing, stock market listings and both “angel” and venture capital investments, has joined the board as a non-executive as the company focuses on sourcing appropriate reverse takeover opportunities.

10.30am: Zambeef hit by weak Zambian currency

Zambeef Products PLC (LON:ZAM) declined 6.9% to 6.75p as it warned of the malign effect on its business of currency fluctuations.

The foods business has operations in Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana, and it was the former that featured prominently in this morning’s trading update as the company warned that a sharp depreciation of the local currency in recent weeks would raise input costs and make its debt, denominated in foreign currencies, more expensive.

“As such, and despite continued expected satisfactory operating performance during H2 2020 [the first half of 2020], the group's profit before tax for the full year is expected to be negatively impacted once these foreign exchange losses are factored in,” Zambeef said.

9.30am: Carclo aerospace business seeing increased fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic

Carclo PLC (LON:CAR) shed a tenth of its value, down 10% at 4.5p in early trade on Monday after the plastics company said the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on its business is increasing.

The FTSE Fledgling firm said demand for products from its aerospace business has been significantly affected by the downturn in the sector.

It noted that he Technical Plastics business, which is focused on the medical market, has seen demand hold up reasonably well, but some limited shutdowns have affected efficiency and throughput across the group, which will inevitably have a negative impact on profitability.

Meanwhile, Science Group PLC (LON:SAG), down 9.1% at 175p, gave up some recent gains after a ventilator system under development hit a roadblock.

The firm's product development business, Sagentia, has been engaged on the UK Government's rapidly manufactured ventilator system (RMVS) initiative but was informed at the end of April that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will not be reviewing any new applications under the RMVS licensing model since

"The UK has fulfilled the clinical need for ventilators through a combination of existing CE marked ventilators and existing applications to the Ventilator challenge," the agency told the company.

It is understood that the MHRA decision will not be reversed and Science Group considers it highly unlikely that, in view of the progress made in containing COVID-19, the government will fund the protracted development programme for the Sagentia Ventilator, and Science Group is not going to fund it either.

Proactive news headlines:

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has relayed communications by West Newton operator Rathlin Energy to the communities in the vicinity of the project in East Yorkshire relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “This update is to let you know that we are moving our programme of works forward, in line with the latest government and public health guidance on COVID-19. We continue to follow the advice closely,” Rathlin said in a letter. Rathlin detailed that, as from today, it is starting the construction of an access track to the West Newton B site.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has signed a new contract with a US biotechnology company for the provision of a respiratory syncytial virus human challenge study. The group said the contract is projected to deliver £3.5mln in revenue all of which is expected to be recognised in 2020. This new contract follows the signing in March of another respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) human challenge contract, now underway, for an initial £3.2mln. Open Orphan said the contract wins underscore its position as a world leader in the provision of viral challenge studies, vaccine and viral laboratory services, which is a particularly hot topic following the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19). Meanwhile, the company also revealed that Trevor Phillips is going to stand down as its chief executive officer.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) has revealed that is to run a second instalment of the ePremier League Invitational tournament that sees professional players and celebrities represent teams in electronic matches. Participants will play each other in a knock-out format using EA SPORTS FIFA 20 on a PlayStation 4 console. Among the players taking part are Phil Foden (Manchester City), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), James Maddison (Leicester City), John Egan (Sheffield United), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur) and Callum Wilson (Bournemouth). Games will be broadcast on SkySports, YouTube and Twitch with the final also to be shown on Sky Sports Premier League, Main Event and worldwide.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement for its SlimBiome trademark with Smart For Life, Inc. and related launch of cookies containing OptiBiotix's SlimBiome proprietary weight management technology in the USA and Canada. The life sciences group, which is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincare, said the license is contingent on an annual minimum order quantity and the first order within thirty days of signing the agreement. Smart For Life - https://www.smartforlife.com - is a US-based company that was founded in 2002 by Dr Sasson Moulavi, a bariatric doctor.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY) has said its liquid biopsy system provides a “straightforward and scalable approach” to analysing and assessing treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer. That was the conclusion of associate professor Amir Goldkorn, whose team at the University of Southern California, used ANGLE’s Parsortix device as part of its workflow to decide which drugs or drug combinations to give patients. Partsortix harvests the tell-tale signs of cancer called circulating tumour cells (CTCs) so that they can then be assessed. It offers an alternative to physical biopsies, which are invasive and painful, and antibody-based methods of capturing of cells.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has told investors it maintained production levels in the first quarter and it is to pay a 3.5p per share dividend for the period. In a trading update, the company said its production in the three months ended March 31, 2020, was marked at 94,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) – 564mln cubic feet equivalent per day – helped by the group’s well management programme which offset natural declines. Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) were reported at US$78mln for the period, in line with the prior period, with sales prices supported by a hedged price of US$2.73 per mln, the group added.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) has said it produced a net attributable 482.5 metric tons of vanadium (mtV) in the form of Nitrovan during the first quarter of 2020, marginally ahead of production in the corresponding period a year ago, with this quarter affected by shut-downs related to the coronavirus. In an operational update, the company also noted that it booked sales of 898 mtV, or 664.5 mtV 74% net attributable. Underlying production costs rang in at US$18.90 per kilogramme, an 8% decrease relative to the first quarter of 2019, supported by a weaker ZAR/USD exchange rate.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has commented on articles published in the Zimbabwean press, in the course of the week commencing April 27, 2020, regarding the Chiadzwa Community concession block joint venture in the Eastern Highlands of the country, for which it is currently awaiting finalisation. In a statement, the company noted that it and its subsidiaries have, throughout the joint venture process, maintained constant dialogue and interaction with the community and all stakeholders who have formally written to the company maintaining their support. The company said it continues to act in good faith to the benefit of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the entire community, and always in accordance with the instructions and direction of the relevant governmental authorities.

Cadogan Petroleum Plc (LON:CAD) has confirmed a 15% increase in year-on-year production during 2019, although losses in its gas trading and services divisions impacted profit for the year. In its annual financial report, the Ukraine-based producer said some 104,816 barrels oil equivalent flowed in 2019, up from 91,085 barrels the year before. Cadogan generated US$5.9mln of gross revenue, down from US$14.7mln in the comparative period of 2018. Average realised prices dropped to US$47.2 per barrel oil equivalent, versus US$51.3 in 2018.

Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS) chief executive James Draper had highlighted higher demand from ad agencies for the group's services amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the company posted its 2019 results. The demand increase comes at the same time as the native video game advertising firm also continues to make progress on the supply side, for example, with its recently announced involvement with Codemasters PLC (LON:CDM) which via a virtual eSports version of the Formula One tour has seen significant prominence. Financial results for 2019 reflected Bidstack’s prior strategic decision to focus on significant technology development work. It reported turnover for the year of £140,000 (2018: £316,00) and a loss before tax of £5.3mln (2018: £1.2mln).

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) has said its IO#8 iodine plant in western Oklahoma is set to face a decline in its brine supply just weeks after coming online. Iofina’s brine supply partner for its number 8 plant is a saltwater disposal (SWD) operator that sources brine from multiple hydrocarbon producers. On May 1, the SWD operator informed Iofina that oil and gas operators have shut-in or intend to shut-in wells due to reduced operating margins at current oil prices; this is likely to materially affect the volumes of brine available for iodine isolation at IO#8.

Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP, NASDAQ: VRNA) said, after the London market close on Friday, that six abstracts presenting “clinically relevant” findings from its trials of ensifentrine for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been accepted by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference. The group said they have been published on the ATS website and in the peer-reviewed publication, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Included was a late-breaking abstract that expands on Phase IIb efficacy and symptom data released on January 31 covering nebulised ensifentrine added on to tiotropium demonstrated.

Red Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR), the natural resource development company with interests in gold, manganese and minerals, has announced that Scott Kaintz, an executive director and COO and CFO of the company, who now has increased responsibilities at Regency Mines PLC where he has taken on the CEO role, is to become a non-executive director of Red Rock, effective from May 1, 2020. The group said he has agreed to remain in a non-executive role to oversee for a period a seamless transition of his responsibilities at the company as Red Rock brings in a new CFO. Red Rock chairman Andrew Bell commented: "Scott has been an important part of Red Rock's history. We record our gratitude and appreciation for his hard work and fine qualities, and wish him well in his future career. His willingness to stay on for a time as a non-executive is much appreciated."

Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH), the fund management and strategic investment group has announced that, further to its announcement on March 3, 2020, it has converted into equity the £60,000 of convertible loan it held in Kirkstall Limited and as a result, Braveheart's shareholding has increased to 80%.

Curzon Energy PLC (LON:CZN) has said it continues to the advance the due diligence process with the Sun Seven Stars Investment Group regarding the potential acquisition of a 100% interest in London Critical Metals Market and good progress has been made to date. The company added that it will make further updates as appropriate. Curzon also announced that it has agreed to refinance its outstanding secured loan notes of £216,553 and its unsecured loan notes of US$200,000. As previously announced on February 13, 2020, the company has further agreed with the Secured Note lenders to capitalize the amounts due to date into a new principal amount of £263,265 as of April 1, 2020, with the interest rate to remain the same at 13% per annum, while the maturity date of the Secured Loan notes has been extended and is now the sooner of the completion of a reverse takeover, or 1 October 2020. And as previously announced on February 13, 2020, the company has agreed with the Unsecured Note lenders to refinance by extending the existing balance to October 1, 2020, with the interest rate remaining the same at 15% per annum, and the total outstanding principal and interest is approximately US$238,918. 

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