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Proactive news headlines: Iofina, ECSC Group, Kromek Group, Zoetic International …

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

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) has revealed it moved into a profit in 2019 after record iodine production for a second year running. In a statement covering the period for the year to December 31, 2019, the chemicals group reported revenues that rose by 22% to US$29.2mln while there was a pre-tax profit of US$600,000 compared to a loss of US$1.1mln. Net debt also fell to US$18.2mln from US$25.6mln and chief executive Tom Becker said the 2019 performance had left it in a "stronger position than ever from which to resolve its current debt situation".

ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC) saw its shares move higher on Wednesday as the group announced the launch of its new Nebula Cloud cybersecurity breach detection service. The AIM-listed firm said Nebula Cloud will enable users to collect, store, and use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse IT system logs and generate 24/7 alerts to potential cybersecurity breaches.

Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) said it has been awarded an extension to its contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to detect and identify pathogens in an urban environment. The detection technology specialist said under the new deal it will be awarded up to US$5.2mln to further work on its mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system capable of detecting airborne pathogens. The extension follows completion of the base period of the DARPA contract which was awarded in December 2018 to develop a vehicle-mounted biological threat identifier.

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) said it has signed a deal with Path Investments PLC to sell its 75% interest in DT Ultravert (DTU), a method for hydrocarbon well stimulation and protection, as well as its nitrogen assets in Kansas. The cannabidiol (CBD) products firm said under the deal Path will issue Zoetic with 15mln new shares together with warrants to subscribe for a further 15mln Path shares at 1.5p each at any time between the first and third anniversaries of the completion of the transaction. Path has also agreed to pay Zoetic royalties equal to 5% of all gross revenues derived from the DTU technology attributable to the 75% interest in perpetuity.

Argentex Group PLC (LON:AGFX), a provider of foreign exchange services to institutions, corporates and high net worth private individuals, has announced the completion of terms for a new London headquarters as momentum behind its growth strategy gathers pace. The group said the new headquarters - located at 25 Argyll Street, London, and managed by W.RE. - will support the significant expansion of headcount across all areas as Argentex recruits to meet the growing demand from its diversified client base for its leading foreign exchange services and advice.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) has joined forces with the British Airways pension fund to buy a 25.5% stake in one of the UK’s largest portfolio of J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) stores. The 50:50 joint venture will pay vendor British Land PLC (LON:BLND) £102mln for the stake in the portfolio, which comprises 26 Sainsbury stores predominately based in London and the south-east. After the transaction, Sainsbury's will own 49% of the freeholds of the properties, insurance group Aviva 25.5% and the JV the remaining 25.5%.

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) said its licence agreement with Bayer Animal Health has been amended as there will be increased investment in the project, in part financed by Eden's successful March fundraise. The biopesticides group will also contribute its expertise in bio-active substances to the formulation development process. The pair are working on an animal shampoo, a conditioner, a spray, and an ear flush using Eden’s encapsulation technology.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) told investors it has entered into an ‘added value services agreement' with EIT InnoEnergy to assist project financing for the Mina do Barroso project, in Portugal. EIT InnoEnergy is part of a business investment platform (BIP) launched in September to accelerate the development of Europe’s battery industry. The aim of the BIP is to facilitate some €70bn of investments into EU based battery-related projects that will be required to meet peak European demand by 2023, Savannah noted.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) (TSE:TXP) told investors it has entered into escrow for a US$20mln seven-year loan with Trinidad and Tobago’s Republic Bank Limited. The loan will carry interest of 7.85%, payable quarterly in arrears, and is secured against the company’s assets and subsidiaries. "We are pleased to be able to source local financing from Republic Bank, the largest lender in Trinidad and the Caribbean,” said Scott Budau, Touchstone chief financial officer in a statement.

In a separate statement after the close on Tuesday, Touchstone Exploration also announced that on May 22, 2020, certain employees exercised share options representing a total of 101,400 common shares of no par value in the company.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) has told investors that average output from the 25%-owned Tawke production sharing contract in Kurdistan, Iraq  is expected to reduce down to 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2020, assuming new wells aren’t drilled to arrest the natural decline. Without new wells the 2020 exit rate is forecast to be marked at around 80,000 bopd. In the first quarter, production from Tawke amounted to 115,210 bopd and in the second it was down to 100,000 bopd, while for the remainder of 2020 it is predicted at around 90,000 bopd.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has now completed the second of its lockdown acquisitions, sealing the deal to acquire 6,100 US wells from Carbon Energy Corporation. It paid US$110mln gross - US$98mln net - to acquire the package of wells which yield around 9,100 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) along with associated midstream and infrastructure assets, adding 4,700 miles of mid-stream with “flow optionality and margin-enhancing opportunities”. This completion comes just a day after DGOC completed a separate but similar acquisition of assets from EQT Corporation for US$112mln, to add 9,000 boe per day from 900 wells.

Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK),  the specialist alloy producer, said the business rescue practitioners in Mogale, South Africa has informed all stakeholders that the request to postpone the publication date for the proposed business rescue plan has been supported by the requisite majority of creditors. The group also noted that production on the P1 furnace has also resumed in the meantime.

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) said it has appointed a new nominated adviser (Nomad) and a non-executive director as well as updating on the status of its shares, which are currently suspended from trading on AIM. The company said it has appointed SP Angel as its nomad and joint broker with immediate effect, and added that qualified lawyer and experienced corporate financier Iain Rawlinson will join the board as a non-executive director. Meanwhile, the company said it will make a further announcement in due course regarding the status of CITIC Merchant Co Limited’s role and strategic options in its current mining assets, and that its shares will remain suspended pending further notification.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) said it has terminated its strategic review and formal sales process as a result of “ongoing disruption” caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft leasing firm said it had been engaged with multiple interested parties as part of the sales process, but as a result of market conditions, these have been delayed. Avation noted that the coronavirus lockdown has continued to disrupt business activities, particularly air travel, on an unprecedented scale and that market volatility remained high with an uncertain outlook for the global economy in the short term As a result, Avation said it had concluded that a formal sales process at present was “unlikely to produce an outcome that accurately reflects the long-term value of the company at a value that is attractive to shareholders”.

Nuformix PLC (LON:NFX) unveiled a new development agreement on Wednesday, alongside a trading update which demonstrated the resilience of the group's business during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Nuformix, which unlocks the therapeutic potential of known drugs, has teamed up with Nasdaq-listed VistaGen Therapeutics. The pair will work on new crystalline forms of VistaGen’s AV-101, which is being developed to treat conditions including neuropathic pain and epilepsy. Turning to current trading, Nuformix chief executive, Dr Dan Gooding, said last year’s £1.25mln fundraise and the business’ low operating costs, meant the firm was “well-placed to ride out the current worldwide issues”.

Amur Minerals Corporation LON:AMUR), the nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and development company focused on the far east of Russia, has raised £0.5mln, before expenses, through a share placing to progress the development of the Kun-Manie nickel-copper sulphide project. The placing of 47,619,048 ordinary shares of no par value at a price of 1.05p each was undertaken by SP Angel acting as the company’s broker.

The Brunner Investment Trust PLC (LON:BUT) announced the appointment of Douglas Armstrong as an alternate independent, non-executive director for Carolan Dobson with immediate effect until the conclusion of the company's annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday. It noted that Armstrong, a solicitor at Dickson Minto W.S., the company's lawyers, would act as chairperson of the meeting. In a separate statement, Brunner Investment Trust announced that all the resolutions put to shareholders at the AGM were passed.

Filta Group Holdings PLC (LON:FLTA), a provider of fryer management and other services to commercial kitchens, confirmed that it will announce its 2019 full-year results on Thursday, May 28. The company said it will also be hosting a conference call for private investors on June 1, 2020, at 4pm UK local time, where its CEO, Jason Sayers, will lead a presentation covering the 2019 financial results, followed by a question and answer session, though no new material information will be provided. Investors are asked to RSVP to take part in the call and submit any advance questions by 8.00am on June 1 via the following link: https://forms.gle/BT2E4G2hdeJ8veg57

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) , the specialist drug development company delivering targeted small molecule therapeutics to improve the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, has announced that its CEO, Dr Tim Mitchell, will give a company presentation at BIO Digital 2020, which will be delivered on-line from June 8-12, 2020. The presentation will highlight Sareum's two proprietary TYK2/JAK1 kinase inhibitor programmes, SDC-1801 and SDC-1802, targeting autoimmune diseases and cancers, respectively.

Circassia Group PLC (LON:CIR) has announced that the mandatory 30 day waiting period for US anti-trust clearance expired at midnight on May 26 and, accordingly, the proposed transfer of the Tudorza and Duaklir assets to AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) first announced on April 9, 2020, is now expected to complete during the course of the next three days. A further announcement will be made once completion has taken place.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM), the technology and software investment company, has announced that further to its announcement of May 14, 2020, Keith Todd, the group’s executive chairman and CEO, Kim Suter, its chief financial officer, and Steve Sparke, a non-executive director of the company have subscribed for an aggregate of 449,998 new ordinary shares in KRM22 at a price of 30p each. Following the share subscriptions, the group added, Todd has a 10.69% holding in the company, Suter has a 0.11% holding, and Sparke has a 2.08% holding.

ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) has announced that it will be holding its annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday, June 22, 2020, at the ADES premises, Building No. B5 Capital Business Park, Floor No.5, Sheikh Zayed City, 6th of October, Giza Governorate, Egypt at 4.00pm UK time/5.00pm Egypt time. Due to current travel restrictions and measures implemented in relation to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, remote access to the AGM will be provided to members upon request in accordance with the terms set out in the notice. The group said members are encouraged to submit their proxy forms to cast their votes, and, in addition, are requested to submit their questions in advance in accordance with the terms set out in the notice. Updates and details can be found on the company website at investors.adihgroup.com.

US Oil & Gas PLC (LON:USOP), the oil and gas exploration company with assets in Nevada, announced that at its annual general meeting held on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, all resolutions were duly passed.

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) said that at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday, May 27, all 14 resolutions put to members were passed on a poll.

genedrive PLC (LON:GDR), the near-patient molecular diagnostics company, announced that at its general meeting held on Wednesday, the resolutions proposed were duly passed by shareholders.

Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT) said that, further to the announcement on May 7, 2020, regarding its conditional placing to raise £7.3 million (before expenses) at a price of 5.0p per share, all resolutions put to shareholders at Wednesday's general meeting in connection with the placing were duly passed.

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL), an investment trust specialising in secured debt investments has announced that all the resolutions put forward at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday were passed, with the exception of Resolution 11, which was proposed to provide the company with additional flexibility to issue ordinary shares at a premium to net asset value where demand exceeds supply. The group said it believes that the votes against Resolution 11 related to the fact that certain shareholder advisory groups recommended that issuance authority be limited to 10% (which was approved by shareholders in Resolution 10) despite the Pre-Emption Group's statement of principles stating that in the case of an investment trust or similar listed closed-ended fund company, if there would be no resulting value dilution resulting from the issue of shares, this would not normally raise any concerns. The company said it will consult with its shareholders in relation to any future general issuance authority.

[email protected] Capital PLC (LON:SYME), the innovative international fintech platform which provides inventory monetisation services to European manufacturing and trading companies, announced that Proactive Research has initiated coverage on the company. The full Initiation note will be available on the company's website at https://www.supplymecapital.com/investor/can and also be accessed at: https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/920493/supplyme-capital-plc---initiation-920493.html

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), the AIM-listed mining company, said that a new video the company has produced introducing its Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania will be posted on its website at www.vastplc.com and on its social media pages. The new video entitled ‘Welcome to Baita Plai’ includes a driving tour of the Baita Plai complex, a walking tour of the renovated administration building as well as interviews with key personnel in the underground sections and floatation plant. The video concludes with several interviews of key staff working at Baita Plai, including the new general manager, chief mechanical engineer, a senior mining engineer and a geologist.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK), the aquaculture genetics, health and advanced nutrition company will be conducting a live presentation covering its interim results for the six months ended March 31, 2020, including an update on how coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the business. The event will take place at 12pm UK time on May 29, 2020, and the online presentation is primarily targeted at retail investors and is open to all existing and potential shareholders. Questions can be submitted during the presentation and will be addressed at the end. To register for the event go to: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/2515901406931/WN_zGmAtM7QRRiaJaeWWyNfQA

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