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Biffa biffed after mixed trading update

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

Premier Oil PLC -

Biffa PLC (LON:BIFF) shares were in the bin, off 6.9% at 244.5p after a mixed update from the FTSE 250 waste disposal company.

Biffa said underlying earnings (EBITDA) remain positive, with a modest monthly cash burn, thanks to cost-saving measures such as furloughing staff and deferring tax payments.

Revenues dropped 30% during the lockdown, with the industrial & commercial (I&C) division particularly affected by lack in demand, pushing revenues down 50%.

1.45pm: Traders are big fans of Volution's trading update

Volution Group PLC (LON:FAN), up 7.6% at 178p, had the wind in its sails after a trading update.

The company said trading has been improving while all facilities, including the ones in the UK, are now operational; however, the supplier of ventilation products said there will be a “small number” of job cuts as part of a cost-saving programme.

Trading outside the UK, which accounts for half of group revenues, reached 91% of prior-year levels in May.

12.30pm: NetScientific buoyed by news from portfolio company PDS Biotechnology

NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI) improved by 9.7% to 8.5p after good news from one of its portfolio companies.

The transatlantic healthcare intellectual property commercialisation group revealed that its portfolio company PDS Biotechnology has announced a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate its lead immunotherapy product, PDS0101, in combination with standard of care chemoradiotherapy for treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer.

NetScientific holds 7.18% of PDS's undiluted share capital.

11.30am: Applied Graphene Materials harden after signing Greek distribution deal

Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM) hardened 9.5% to 11.5p after it signed an exclusive distribution agreement.

The agreement is with Dichem Polymers and will give Applied Graphene access to the polymers and coatings markets in Greece.

Dichem has a long track record of supplying high-performance chemicals to markets such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, polymers and coatings. The two companies will collaborate on the introduction of AGM's proprietary Genable graphene dispersions technology into Greece.

10.30am: Carnival the top blue-chip performer

Carnival PLC (LON:CCL), up 11% at 1,327.5p, was the top-performing blue-chip despite its AIDA business suspending cruises in USA and Canada for 2020.

The company said that while travel in Europe is slowly restarting, the conditions for international travel to the USA and Canada are currently not in place.

AIDA said it would reimburse guests who do not wish to use their travel credit (including the 10% bonus) upon request.

9.30am: Premier Oil on the up after agreeing revised terms for BP North Sea purchases

Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) surged 12% higher to 35.77p in early trade on Friday after it agreed on revised payment terms for its North Sea acquisitions from BP PLC (LON:BP.).

Having pledged to pay US$625mln in January, before the crash in oil prices, Premier has now agreed in principle to pay cash of just US$210mln on completion, funded with equity.

Then roughly US$300mln of cash flows will be retained by BP from the 23,000 daily barrels of oil equivalent the assets produce on average, with a final US$115mln only payable if oil and gas prices recover further in the future.

LSL Property Services PLC (LON:LSL) shares rallied to 211p, up 12%, as it revealed it had still made an underlying profit under the coronavirus lockdown despite revenue more than halving.

The estate and letting agency, surveying and financial services group said it made an underlying operating profit in April of £1.6mln, albeit down 45% on last year as sales fell 56% due to lower levels of residential sales and surveying.

The group took a £1.2mln exceptional cost hit related to the coronavirus situation.

Proactive news headlines:

Applied Graphene Materials (LON:AGM) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dichem Polymers that will give it access to the polymers and coatings markets in Greece. Dichem has a long track record of supplying high-performance chemicals to markets such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, polymers and coatings, said AGM. The two companies will collaborate on the introduction of AGM's proprietary Genable graphene dispersions technology into Greece. In a statement, Adrian Potts, AGM’s chief executive said he was delighted with the addition of Dichem to its commercial team.

Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH), has said that that, further to its announcement on May 21, 2020, the consent of certain PhaseFocus Holdings Limited shareholders has been obtained and, therefore, completion of the acquisition of a further 22,145 ordinary shares in PhaseFocus will occur on completion of the admission to trading of a total of 700,000 new ordinary shares of 2p each in Braveheart at a price of 29p per ordinary share as non-cash consideration. Upon completion of the transaction, Braveheart will own 42.67% of the issued share capital of PhaseFocus.

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC (LON:C4XD) has revealed that its chief executive, Clive Dix has been appointed as a member and deputy chair of the steering board of the UK Vaccine Taskforce. The task force has been set up by the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, deputy chief medical officer, business secretary and health secretary to lead UK efforts to find and manufacture a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The drug discovery firm said Dix’s appointment will not impact his day-to-day role as CEO.

Tissue Regenix Group PLC (LON:TRX) has reported higher revenues for 2019 as the firm saw sales rise across all of its main business divisions. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the regenerative medicine specialist posted a 12% rise in revenues to £13.03mln and narrowed its operating loss to £7.2mln from £8.69mln in the prior year. The revenue rise was boosted by a 25% increase in sales of the company’s dCELL products in BioSurgery as well as a 5% increase in sales of its BioRinse products for orthopaedics and dentistry. The group’s joint venture, GBM-v, also saw its sales expand by 13% in the year to £2.08mln. Post-period, Tissue Regenix said revenues in the first quarter of its current year had risen 18%, despite a cyberattack on its facility in San Antonio, Texas.

Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE), the exploration and production company focused on Georgia, has said its current Technical Director, Roger McMechan has stepped back from his executive position to pursue his other interests with effect from June 3, 2020. However, it added, McMechan will continue on the board as a non-executive director, enabling the company to utilise his petroleum engineering expertise and detailed knowledge of its assets as Block Energy prepares to restart oil production and initiate gas production at its West Rustavi field. The company said that, in his place, it has appointed Ritchie Wayland, a former Group Exploration Manager of JKX Oil & Gas PLC (LON:JKX), as its new Technical Manager.

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) said its chief executive Stephen Blyth will step down from the position with effect from Friday, June 4, although he will continue as a director in the position of founder and non-executive deputy chairman. The freight management group said given the prevailing circumstances, Blyth had agreed to stay on as CEO despite announcing his intention to step away from the role last summer, however, given health concerns he had decided now was the right time to spend more time with his family. Xpediator said a formal process to appoint a new CEO has commenced, while in the interim two members of its senior management team, chief financial officer Robert Ross and chief operating officer of its Logistics Romanian business Danor Ionesc, will jointly cover the responsibilities of the position.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) said it has started field activities associated with the due diligence assessment for the proposed acquisition of American Vanadium. Thor announced at the beginning of the month an option agreement to acquire American Vanadium, which holds interests in uranium and vanadium-focused projects in Colorado and Utah. So far, Thor revealed, it has not uncovered any regulatory or environmental issues that would impact the proposed acquisition.

Stobart Group Limited (LON:STOB), the aviation and energy group, intends to raise between £80mln and £100mln by issuing shares as it pivots to focus on aviation. Around four-fifths of the money will be raised through a firm placing of shares at between 35p and 40p each but shareholders will also get to participate in the equity issue via an open offer. Directors of the company will take up shares to the tune of around £356,000 in aggregate. The group, which owns Southend Airport, said it requires additional liquidity to fund its short-term cash obligations and to enable it to build a strong foundation from which it can return its Aviation business to growth. As well as announcing a share issue, the group released its results for the 12 months to the end of February that showed a 15.9% increase in revenue to £170.2mln from £146.9mln the year before. 

Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS) has raised £5.7mln to boost its working capital as part of its efforts to expand its international presence and exploit “increased demand-side interest” from advertising groups. The AIM-listed firm, which provides in-game advertising technology, said it had raised £5.5mln through a "significantly oversubscribed" placing of 137.5mln new shares at a price of 4p each, a 29% discount to its Thursday closing price. Bidstack has also raised an additional £200,000 through the subscription of 5mln new shares at the placing price by certain directors of the company and others. Bidstack also said it continued to expect revenues for 2020 to be “very significantly second-half weighted” and in line with expectations for the year.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR), the AIM-listed investor in natural resource opportunities, announced that it has executed an International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) agreement and Credit Support Annex (CSA) with the same global investment bank with which it has the equity derivative financing arrangements subject to the Umbrella Agreement, as announced on 17 December 2019. The execution of the ISDA agreement will allow Metal Tiger to obtain access to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives including but not limited to equities, commodities and FX contracts. The CSA essentially helps to stipulate the terms and conditions under which each party is required to post collateral to each other. In a statement, Michael McNeilly, the chief executive officer of Metal Tiger commented: “The execution of these agreements expands the scope of the natural resources investment opportunities available to Metal Tiger and could also be applied to help Metal Tiger hedge currency risk. It has been put in place to allow the possibility of a more sophisticated investment approach going forward depending, as always, on the balance of the portfolio and the resources available to Metal Tiger at the time. Metal Tiger will update appropriate internal strategy and policy documents to help govern any OTC contracts entered into using this agreement to ensure appropriate risk management.”

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CAL) said it has applied for voluntary delisting from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) effective as of the closing of trading on June 19, 2020.  Following delisting, the company's shares will continue to be listed and traded on NYSE American LLC under the symbol CMCL and depositary interests representing shares will also continue to trade on AIM of the London Stock Exchange under the same symbol CMCL. Since the Company's shares were listed on the NYSE American in 2017, trading on that market has become increasingly dominant, and it now provides the most liquid market for Caledonia's shares.  Accordingly, the company believes that the financial and administrative costs associated with maintaining its listing on the TSX are no longer justified. Shareholders holding shares in Canadian brokerage accounts should contact their brokers to confirm how to trade in Caledonia's shares in the future on NYSE American or through depositary interests on AIM.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC),  the leading global immunodiagnostics group has said it was informed that, on June 4, 2020, dealings in the company's ordinary shares by the following director/PDMRs had occurred: Meinhard Schmidt, non-executive chairman, together with his wife, Tatiana Schmidt, acquired in aggregate 13,000 shares at a weighted average price of £1.185 per share; Adam Hill, chief executive officer, acquired 8,481 shares at £1.179 per share; Matthew Hall, chief financial officer, acquired 1,272 shares at £1.179 per share; Ron Kirschner, general counsel and company secretary, acquired 1,652 shares at £1.204 per share; and Tim Bunting, a non-executive director, acquired 150,000 shares at a weighted average price of £1.192 per share.

Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD) announced that its CEO, Fady Khallouf, on June 3, 2020, purchased 2,250,000 shares at 2.45p each. Following this purchase, the group noted, Khallouf holds in total 7,750,000 shares representing 3.17 % of the company.

Integumen PLC (LON:SKIN) said that it has received notification from a holder to exercise warrants over 3,333,332 shares amounting to consideration, in aggregate, with a cash value of £49,999.98.

Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX), a global venture capital company focused on investing and building breakthrough biotech companies, announced that at its annual general meeting held on Thursday, June 4, 2020, all the ordinary and special resolutions set out in the meeting notice, dated May 4, 2020, were proposed and passed by way of a poll.

Personal Group Holdings PLC (LON:PGH), a leading provider of employee services in the UK, announced that at its annual general meeting held on Thursday, June 4, 2020, all of the resolutions put to shareholders were duly passed.

Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM), the AIM-traded, multi-commodity mining and natural resource development company focused in Southern Africa, announced that all the resolutions proposed to shareholders at the company's general meeting held on Thursday, June 4, 2020, were duly passed.

ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM), the specialist drug discovery and development company has announced that with immediate effect, its registered office address has been changed to One Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7BL.

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