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Small cap movers: boohoo still 'King of AIM' after rollercoaster week

A look back at some of the more interesting stories from London's AIM market this week

Boohoo Group PLC -

boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) still held onto the ‘King of AIM’ crown after a rollercoaster week.

Shares in the fast-fashion retailer have recuperated a little after a three-day descent that wiped off over 40% of the group's value.

The stock is now 21% lower than a week ago at 308p, making the clothier worth £3.8bn, but it is still the most valuable business on AIM.

The online giant came under fire following weekend allegations of modern slavery practices at one of its suppliers’ in Leicester.

But the owner of Nasty Gal and Pretty Little Thing received support in the City after agencies such as the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority said there was no evidence of wrongdoing at the East Midlands factories.

“Buyers started to return after the precipitous falls of earlier this week, with some saying that the declines have been too severe when set against the underlying long-term fundamentals,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets (UK).

Fellow online-only retailer Sosandar PLC (LON:SOS) had a better week, adding 19% to 12p after slashing quarterly losses by 70% thanks to more frugal marketing spend during the coronavirus crisis.

But the clothier is planning to gradually restart customer acquisition, especially after revenues in the quarter to June were driven 54% higher by demand for ‘lockdown products’ such as loungewear and casual summer dresses.

Looking at the wider market, the AIM All-Share index dipped by 1% to 885 following the boohoo slump, still outperforming the FTSE 100 which was down 2% to 6,070.

SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) has been defying all trends, rocketing by 222% to 17p since March 19 as investors see the promise in studying the skin microbiome while most focus on that of the gut.

This week its partner Winclove came up with a food supplement for psoriasis eight months ahead of schedule, so there may be a finalised product on the shelves by next summer.

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) returned on AIM with great fanfare, soaring 109% higher to 15p, after signing an engagement letter with Chinese group CITIC Merchant to explore strategic options for its mining assets.

Meanwhile, artificial intelligence specialist Maestrano Group PLC (LON:MNO) doubled in value to 7p thanks to a deal with mapping giant Esri to work for ARTC, a government organisation that manages most of Australia’s interstate railway network.

Elsewhere, spirits retailer Distil PLC (LON:DIS) was up a bubbly 26% to 1p after estimating revenue for the six months to September will soar 75-85% on last year, as homemade cocktails are on the menu during lockdown.

Escape Hunt PLC (LON:ESC) rose 12% to 7p after announcing its escape rooms in England will reopen on Saturday, while it welcomed the Treasury’s reduction of VAT to 5% from 20% in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Sticking with entertainment, virtual reality firm MelodyVR PLC (LON:MVR) added 10% to 4p on the back of an exclusive partnership deal with Live Nation UK to organise a series of new live concerts. Fans will have the choice of watching performances set in London’s O2 Academy Brixton from multiple points, including on stage with the artists themselves.

Among the fallers, marketing services provider Altitude Group PLC (LON:ALT) slumped by 34% to 19p after admitting cashflow in the quarter to September will be hit by lower revenues as a result of the pandemic.

e-Therapeutics dropped 30% to 12p after raising £12.4mln by placing shares at a 30% discount to expand its drug discovery platform and asset pipeline.

Likewise, waste-to-energy firm EQTEC fell 28% to 0.4p after raising £10mln through an oversubscribed placing at a 33.8% discount to boost its current projects.

Interestingly, finnCap Group PLC (LON:FCAP) boasted its strongest ever first-quarter with revenues jumping 50% thanks to a flurry of fundraisings during the crisis.

Finally, refinancing worries dragged Oracle Power down 16% to 0.7p after the Pakistan-focused coal developer brought in £1.5mln of new capital and put in place a further £45mln financing facility with Riverfort Global Capital.

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