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Luceco sees brighter outlook

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

Dillistone Group -

Luceco PLC (LON:LUCE) jumped 19% to 124.8p after it said trading had improved since its last update in late April.

The LED lighting and portable power products maker said the second quarter’s run-rate started at about half the level of last year but demand has improved steadily since then.

Revenue for the second quarter is expected to be circa 25% lower than 2019, which the group pointed out meant it is outperforming the UK market.

2.45pm: COPL at the double after it settles dispute

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LONCOPL), up 110% at 50.5p, was the second biggest riser on Thursday after it resolved a long-running dispute.

The oil and gas junior announced a settlement in principle regarding its dispute with Essar over the OML 226 prospect off Nigeria.

The agreement will see COPL’s 50% owned affiliate ShoreCan transfer 70% of its stake in Essar Nigeria to Essar Mauritius in return for an end to the legal action brought by the Indian conglomerate.

1.45pm: Allied Minds dives as revenues slump

Allied Minds PLC (LON:ALM) retreated to 35.75p, down 12%, after it posted its results for 2019.

The intellectual property commercialisation company saw revenue more than halve to US$2.69mln from US$5.56mln the year before.

1.00pm: Pennon's new dividend policy gets lukewarm reception

Pennon Group PLC (LON:PNN) unveiled “a sustainable dividend” policy that contributed to a 4.5% decline in the share price to 1,139p.

The company lifted its dividend 6.6% for the past year and said it will grow the payout at 2% above inflation over the next five.

The water supplier, which ended its financial year to March 31 with cash and liquidity of £1.6bn, said it will also pay out additional returns to shareholders from the recently agreed £4.2bn sale of its Viridor waste arm, as promised.

11.45am: Tricorn share price down the tubes after operational update

Tricorn Group PLC (LON:TCN) dived 12% to 7.5p on the back of a trading update.

The tube manipulation specialist warned that while its Chinese joint venture has continued to operate normally following the reopening of its facility on February 15, the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to create significant disruption elsewhere within the group.

The group said revenue and underlying earnings (EBITDA) for the six months to the end of March are expected to be about 20% and 87% lower year-on-year, respectively.

10.30am: Euromoney looks forward to return of non-virtual events and conferences

Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC (LON:ERM) climbed 11% to 862p despite reporting a 15% fall in first-half profits.

The events and publishing group said it expects to make net cash cost savings of approximately £20mln in the second half after clamping down on non-contractual spend, postponing capex, making cuts in salary and fees for directors and withholding the interim dividend.

Net profit and loss cost savings will be roughly £7mln, it said, with the actions also supporting the balance sheet and allowing investment to be maintained in future growth, including small acquisitions.

9.30am: Dillistone secures government loan

Dillistone Group PLC (LON:DSG) surged 12% higher to 18.5p in early trade on Thursday after revealing its application under the government’s Business Interruption Loan scheme has been approved and that, since an update on April 16, trading has significantly improved.

The software company, which is focused on the recruitment sector said it has secured a £1.5mln loan, repayable over six years, with an interest rate of 3.99% above the UK base rate.

Furthermore, the group said its board has undertaken a series of stress testing models for the business and now believes that the range of likely outcomes for the current financial year has significantly improved since the April trading update.

Meanwhile, CyanConnode Holdings PLC (LON:CYAN) charged 27% higher to 2.8p after it revealed a delayed substantial Indian contract has now been approved.

The contract, announced in September 2018, covers two projects worth more than a billion rupees (INR).

Revenue of INR 113mln was recognised against the contract during 2018, and the company now expects most of the remaining revenue for the implementation phase (about 70% of the contract value) to be recognised within the next two years. The remainder of the revenue will be recognised during the five-year support and maintenance contracts.

Proactive news headlines:

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has announced the launch of hVIVO's COVID Clear Test, its antibody testing service, following the successful completion of installation, testing and training for the coronavirus (COVID-19) test, The service will be offered to large employer groups and partners including GP networks, nursing care businesses, health clinics and private hospitals. Samples will be tested in the company's London lab with results returned within 48 hours.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it has signed a five-year deal with Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM) to design, develop and deliver an esports racing championship (ERC). The AIM-listed firm said the ERC concept is based on a “unique format not seen in virtual racing before” and will feature professional simulation racing drivers and a roster of teams from digital motorsport. The championship will have two seasons each calendar year, with the first to take place in 2020 and be hosted by Gfinity.

Sativa Group PLC (LON:SATI) has received a takeover bid from Canadian-listed cannabinoid (CBD) extraction and agriculture specialist Stillcanna Inc. The offer, which was unveiled after Wednesday’s London close, will see Stillcanna offer 0.33507 new shares for each Sativa share, valuing the Aquis Exchange-listed company’s entire share capital at around £10.66mln. The offer represents a 28.6% discount to Sativa's middle market closing price of 2.6p per share on April 21, when a deal was first mooted, and the group noted that following the deal its shareholders will own around 65% of the combined entity. In a separate announcement, also after yesterday’s close, Sativa reported its results for the year ended December 31, 2019, which saw its revenues increase more than five-fold to £1.45mln from £0.26mln while its gross margins improved to 52% from 42% due to a decrease in the cost of CBD extract and production efficiencies. Sativa also reported figures for the first quarter of 2020, posting revenues of £0.36mln, 49% higher than the prior-year and gross profit of £0.21mln with a 59% margin, ahead of management expectations.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) said it is expecting further strong growth in the top-line in the current fiscal year. In a trading update covering the 12 months to the end of May 2020, the immunodiagnostics specialist noted that its revenue was in line with market expectations. Meanwhile, it said, the next 18 months are expected to create substantial revenues within the EarlyCDT lung cancer test business. while the pipeline of contracts within the ImmunoINSIGHTS services business is building. Oncimmune also noted that its board has been streamlined, as a result of which Geoffrey Hamilton-Fairley, the non-executive vice-chairman and co-founder of the company, plus two other non-executive directors - Julian Hirst and Carsten Schroeder - have stepped down from the board with immediate effect.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS) (NASDAQ:TLSA) said the chairman of its scientific advisory board has received a research grant from the National Institutes of Health in the US to investigate the company’s nasal anti-CD3 drug, Foralumab, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The NIH award provides third-party validation of the work of Dr Howard Weiner in an area of great unmet medical need. He believes the nasal administration of Foralumab is a “potentially revolutionary approach” to treat patients with Alzheimer’s.

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) has said it continues to receive support for the development of its Thar project in Pakistan. As announced in March, Oracle has submitted an application to the Private Power and Infrastructure Board for a letter of intent (LOI) on behalf of the consortium developing the project. The issuance of the LOI will be a major step in the development of Thar Block VI and would confirm the Government of Pakistan's commitment to purchase power from Thar Block VI. Oracle has now paid the US$50,000 evaluation fee that became due under the terms of the LOI and has received a payment of US$7,491 from Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum’s private office in respect of the office’s share of the evaluation fee.

Personal Group PLC (LON:PGH) chairman, Mark Winlow will tell shareholders at Thursday’s annual general meeting that, given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic environment, the leading provider of employee services has made an encouraging start to the year. In the AGM statement, Winlow said: “We continue to engage with clients, existing and new and I am pleased to announce that we are negotiating significant potential new Let's Connect and Insurance clients which are on-going despite the challenges of COVID-19." In a separate statement, Personal Group on also announced that its CFO  Mike Dugdale has confirmed his intention to retire on September 30, 2020. The company said Sarah Mace, the group financial controller and company secretary, will be appointed as Interim CFO on September 30, Dugdale’s departure date allowing an orderly handover and transition time.

Impax Asset Management Group PLC (LON:IPX) has increased its interim dividend saying it is good financial health while inflows and the performance of its funds saw a rebound in April. Inflows into its funds were a record £1.8bn in the half-year to March 31, 2020, Impax said, but assets under management were affected by coronavirus volatility and dropped by 4% to £14.4bn. In April, net inflows were almost £300mln, it added, and at the end of the month assets under management had rebounded to £15.8bn.

Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) said it has raised £1.1mln through a placing and subscription of around 244.4mln new shares to help pay the remaining balance of £990,000 for the acquisition of New Age Exploration’s interest in Cornwall Resources, holder of the Redmoor Tin/Tungsten project. The AIM-listed company said the shares had been issued at a price of 0.45p each, a 28.6% discount to its closing price on Wednesday, adding that it is also allowing existing shareholders to subscribe for up to 22.2mln new shares at the same price through a broker option. "The company continues to limit equity raisings to only fund projects it believes will value add over time. Today's raise not only achieves this, through securing the balance of the Redmoor acquisition, but the board considers that it will also remove a perceived market overhang associated with the need to fund this liability”, Strategic Minerals chairman Alan Broome said in a statement.

Curzon Energy PLC (LON:CZN) has raised £166,066 by placing shares at a penny a pop. The placing shares came with warrants attached that can be exercised at 1.5p a share. In all, 16.6mln shares were issued along with 17.6mln warrants. The funds raised will be used to advance and complete negotiations with the Sun Seven Stars Investment Group (SSSIG) on a transaction involving the London Critical Metals Market (LCMM).

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, has announced that Andrew Day, its chief executive officer, yesterday exercised 150,095 options over ordinary shares dating from the time of the company's IPO in 2013. Of these 150,095 options, 86,593 were awards granted on 8 July 2013 under the terms of the company's long term incentive plan and were due to expire on July 8, 2020, and 63,502 were awards granted on July 12, 2013, under the terms of the company's EMI stock option plan and were due to expire on July 12, 2020. It said that Day has sold the shares issued to him under these LTIP and SOP option exercises at a price of 1,770p per ordinary share, in part to cover personal income tax and other liabilities arising from the exercise of the options. As a result, Day's interest in the company's share capital remains unchanged at 3,296,573 ordinary shares, equivalent to 4.5% of the company's issued share capital. Following this exercise of options, the group added, Day has 297,000 unexercised options over the company's ordinary shares.

Touchstone Exploration Inc. (LON:TXP) has announced that its shareholders approved all the resolutions put to the at its annual meeting of shareholders held on June 3, 2020.

Synairgen PLC (LON: SNG), the respiratory drug discovery and development company, has said that, in line with the UK government's latest guidelines on coronavirus (COVID-19), it will host its AGM as a closed meeting at The Blueprint Design Company Limited, Martins Barn, Birdham Road, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 7BX at 9.00am on June 29, 2020. Any shareholders attempting to attend the AGM will be refused entry and will be convened with the minimum necessary quorum of two shareholders, with the outcome of the resolutions determined by shareholder vote based on the proxy votes received. Shareholders are therefore strongly encouraged to vote by proxy on the resolutions contained in the AGM notice which should either be completed electronically - using either Link Asset Services' Signal Shares share portal service at www.signalshares.com, or by completing a CREST Proxy Instruction - or be posted to: Link Asset Services, PXS 1, 34 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4ZF and must be received by 9.00am on June 25, 2020, in order to be valid. The results of the AGM will be announced to the London Stock Exchange and placed on the company's website, in the usual way, as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the AGM.

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