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Proactive news headlines: Belvoir Group, SigmaRoc, Ariana Resources, Directa Plus ...

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

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV), the lettings and estate agent, said its interim revenue and profits were both well ahead of a year ago despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Since the restrictions on the housing sector were lifted in mid-May, there has been a surge of activity due to pent-up demand, Belvoir said in a trading update for the half-year to June. The AIM-listed group’s offices were closed between March 25 and May 13, but June was a record-breaking month for housing activity at its estate agent Newton Fallowell and also in its mortgage division, the firm said. Group network revenue in June rose by 12% compared with a year earlier, with the lettings business up by 17%.

SigmaRoc PLC (LON:SRC) has reported strong earnings and revenue growth in the first half of its current year, adding that it has “good exposure” to further infrastructure spending and growth in the housing and repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) markets. In a trading update for the six months to June 30, 2020, the construction materials group said it has “delivered results ahead of its own expectations given the challenging trading environment”, reporting underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £10.9mln, up 91% year-on-year, while revenues climbed 83% to £54.5mln.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU), the Turkey-focused gold group, has announced a 50% increase in the size of the resource at its Salinbas project. The total amount of gold at the 100%-owned project is now estimated at 1.5mln ounces, up from 1mln previously, and split between two licences – Salinbas and Ardala. In addition, there has been a significant upgrade in the classification of the resource at Salinbas, said Ariana, with 35% now in the measured (11%) and indicated (24%) categories. Kerim Sener, Ariana’s managing director, said the new resource confirms the project has multi-million ounce, multi-commodity potential.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) said it has been granted a patent by the Italian Patent Office for the Company's G+® graphene to improve the performance of rubber-based shoe outsoles. The company, a leading producer and supplier of graphene nanoplatelets based products for use in consumer and industrial market, noted that the patent covers both the formula containing G+® and the outsole made with the formula.

Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX) has reported continued top-line billings growth in its first half as the company said its business had proven “resilient” to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. In a trading update for the six months to June 30, 20920, the internet top-level domain (TLD) specialist reported a 31% rise in registrations to 2.38mln, while automated online channel billings rose 20% to US$7.8mln, delivering overall billings growth of 7% to a total of US$7.9mln. Cash generated in the first half also increased by 13% to US$2.5mln.

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) said revenues rose by 21% in the half-year to end-June, 2020, and all its businesses are now up and running again as coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions ease. Turnover was boosted by the acquisition of Willow Pumps, which like its other B2B business, MetroRod, was classified an essential business during the lockdown. Franchise Brands’ consumer business were shut due to the restrictions and group like-for-like revenue dropped to £18mln from £20.1mln during the half-year. Underlying profits (adjusted EBITDA) increased by 13% to £2.8mln, though after charges related to COVID-19, statutory profits fell to £0.9mln from £1.8mln. The interim dividend was maintained at 0.3p.

Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI), the UK commercial property investor, has paid a higher dividend than expected after rent collections improved in its latest quarter. The trust said it had collected 92% of rents due for the June quarter adjusting for deferrals and 80% of the September quarter. As a result, it is recommending a quarterly dividend of 0.95p or 27% above the minimum indicated in April.

Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) the South Africa-based gold miner, has published details of the feasibility study for its Egoli underground mine on the site of its existing Evander operation. Based on a gold price of US$1,650 per oz, the project can generate US$131mln from a nine-year life, the independent study has concluded. Using Evander’s existing infrastructure will bring the cost of the project down to US$66mln, said Pan African. In a statement, it confirmed the project has an initial life of mine of 9 years, with annual gold production of approximately 72,000 at an average head grade of 6.61grams per ton (g/t). 

discoverIE Group PLC (LON:DSCV) has said its order book “remains strong” and that it sees “significant scope for further expansion” in its design & manufacturing (D&M) division. In a trading update for the first four months of its current year ending March 31, 2021, the customised electronics specialist said since May orders have increased by around 10% per month in June and July, to a level similar to sales. Group sales for the whole period are around 8% lower than last year, however, the company said organic growth rates continued to be stronger in its target markets, led by its renewable energy and medical divisions.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) said its partner for Australia and New Zealand has extended the commercial collaboration to include gut health line WellBiome. Maxum Foods already has access to OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome and the OptiBiome products under an earlier manufacturing, supply and profit-sharing agreement. This is the fourth extension deal since the launch of WellBiome just over a month ago.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) has told investors that DNO, as project operator, has confirmed production averaged 102,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from the Tawke licence assets in Kurdistan during the second quarter of 2020. The licence, 25% owned by Genel, comprises the Tawke and Peshkabir oil fields, which produced at 58,100 bopd and 43,900 bopd respectively over the three-month period. This marked an 11% decline amidst halted development activity, to conserve cash as crude prices saw volatility.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has unveiled updates for two of its portfolio firms, Southern Gold Limited and Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR), highlighting positive results and progress across both of the firm’s projects. For Southern Gold, in which it owns a 17.1% stake, Metal Tiger said 720.46 metres (m) of diamond drilling has been completed at the investee’s Aphae project, while drilling of a fourth hole has now commenced at the Deokon project. In a separate announcement, Metal Tiger said Sandfire, in which it owns a 3.5% stake and a 2% net smelter royalty, has embarked on a substantial exploration programme with the initial focus on the T3 Expansion project, which includes the drilling of high-priority targets identified within a 25-kilometre radius of the site.

Greencoat UK Wind PLC (LON:UKW), Britain’s largest onshore wind farm investor, has said cashflows remained steady over the half-year to end June despite volatility in power prices caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Electricity generation for the period was 2% above budget at 1,494GWh though good wind conditions in the first quarter eased in the second three-month period. Power prices were below budget, primarily reflecting low gas prices and low demand due to COVID-19, but dividend cover remained robust, said Greencoat UK.\Botanical Holdings PLC said its medicinal cannabis-focused subsidiary EuroCan has completed the purchase of land in Portugal where it will start its European growing operations. The 23-hectare site is in the municipality of Mação, a proven agricultural area around two hours north-east of Lisbon. “Completion of this land purchase represents a significant step forwards for our operations in Portugal,” said chief executive Carl Esprey in a statement.

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) has struck a deal to sell its legacy royalties in Turkey to its partner Bati Toroslar for US$250,000. The deal will see Oriole receive US$30,000 within the next seven days followed by the balance in line with contingent milestones, namely the start of mine construction at either Hasançelebi or Doğala projects. The move is in-line with the previously stated asset monetisation strategy and follows the disposal of the company’s shares in Tembo Gold Corp (for US$172,000).

Stobart Group Ltd (LON:STOB) said it is trading in line with its expectations as its London Southend Airport has reopened to passengers after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and its energy business has benefited from a restart in construction work across the UK. In an update for its annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday, the group’s chairman David Shearer said the company has made “good progress” in the execution of its strategy.

IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) told investors it has had further high-grade results and defined significant targets at the Ehuasso area of the Zaranou gold project in Côte d'Ivoire. The initial reverse circulation drilling at Ehuasso yielded multiple high-grade results were recorded along with broader low-grade intersections. Highlight results included 4 metres at 25.8 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 4 metres at 16.8 g/t and 12 metres at 6.59 g/t with a higher grade 4 metres at 17.9 g/t.

Berkeley Energia Limited (LON:BKY) has highlighted analysis suggesting that uranium market conditions could tighten, heightening concerns about future supply and potentially pushing up the price of the element and possibly triggering “increased term market activity”. In a quarterly report, the company said during the period the uranium spot price rose to a high of US$33.40 per pound and currently stands at US$32.20, a year to date increase of around 30%. Berkeley also said it is continuing to focus on progressing the approvals required to commence construction of its Salamanca mine in Spain and bring it into production.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) has issued a quarterly update that highlighted a particularly busy period for the company, with “significant progress on a variety of projects". It comes as the company continues to advance its copper, uranium and vanadium, and tungsten assets in Australian. In terms of financial highlights, the period included the raising of A$970,000 via a placing and a A$1mln sale agreement for the Spring Hill gold royalty.

FastForward Innovations Limited (LON:FFWD) has updated on the status of two of its investment companies, Factom Inc and Portage Biotech Inc. For Factom, the company said that regarding the proposed Chapter 11 reorganisation of the investee, it has reached a provisional agreement with Factom whereby it is proposed that FastForward’s US$6mln SAFE note shall be converted to equity by the issue of 5.9mln new shares in Factom, subject to approval by the US Bankruptcy Court. In a separate announcement, FastForward said Portage Biotech has been permitted by Canadian regulators and exchanges to extend the deadline for the filing of its annual financial statements for the year ended March 31 to August 31 from June 2.

Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX) is showcasing its technological advances in magnetic resonance imaging at two virtual industry conferences. Over 40 abstracts underlining the potential of hyperpolarized Xenon 129 have been accepted for American Thoracic Society online gathering (Aug 5-10) and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine event (Aug 8-14). Researchers assessed the use of the drug-device combination to assist with the early diagnosis of respiratory diseases, while they were also interested in the ability to monitor progression and therapeutic response in the patients. “Many of the projects being presented at these two leading conferences have made use of Polarean's products to conduct research, highlighting the growing academic acceptance of the company's technology,” Polarean chief executive Richard Hullihen said in a statement.

Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) told investors that it knows no reason or material event to explain the significant rise in the company’s market value, following its general meeting which enabled a capital restructuring. Nonetheless, the company noted a number of details about the company, its assets and stock amidst the recently soaring share price – it rose from 5p on July 21 to reach 20p yesterday.

NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF), the base and precious metals producer from its Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania Australia, announced that it has raised £447,500 (gross) at 7p per share from a UK based investor and a group of private investors for general working capital purposes and, as a result, the company will issue 6,392,857 new ordinary shares.

United Oil and Gas PLC (LON:UOG), the high growth oil and gas company with a portfolio of production, development, exploration and appraisal assets, announced that it has received from Optiva Securities Ltd. a notice of exercise of warrants to subscribe for 6,000,000 new ordinary shares of £0.01 each in the company at a price of £0.025 per share, which were granted on July 25, 2017. Accordingly, the company has issued the shares to the warrant holder for an aggregate cash consideration of £150,000.

Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) has announced the full conversion of the loan instrument entered into with a company owned by a trust of which the group's chief executive officer & executive chairman, George Roach is a beneficiary as announced on April 9, 2020, into new ordinary shares in the company in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement. The loan, plus accrued interest, amounts to US$206,027 (£159,131.07) and the company has therefore issued 232,647,763 new ordinary shares to the Trust, representing approximately 1.9% of the group’s current issued share capital at an issue price of 0.0684p per conversion share. On admission of the conversion shares, the Trust will be interested in a total of 347,455,736 ordinary shares representing 2.7% of the enlarged issued share capital of the Company. Accordingly, Roach will be interested directly and indirectly in an aggregate of 837,132,385 ordinary shares, representing approximately 6.5% of the enlarged issued share capital.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON), a multi-divisional new media and technology business, has announced that, following the issuance of the Prospectus on March 26, 2020, under the financing and settlement agreement entered into by it with European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund (EHGOSF), the company has received a notice of exercise from the investor in respect of the third and fourth tranches drawn down under the agreement for the aggregate principal amount of £140,000 resulting in the issue to EHGOSF of 1,555,555,554 new ordinary shares in the company.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), the AIM-listed mining company, said the company has elected to pay the interest of $29,591.45 due on July 29, 2020, on the $7,101,947 bond issued to Atlas Special Opportunities LLC, announced on January 31, 2020, by the issue of 10,936,641 shares at a price of 0.20871p per share.

Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP), the AIM-listed precious and base metals exploration and development company, has announced the appointment of Berenberg and H&P Advisory Limited (Hannam & Partners) as joint corporate brokers and financial advisers to the company with immediate effect. Berenberg and Hannam & Partners will work alongside the company's existing corporate broker, SI Capital. Gervaise Heddle, Greatland Gold’s chief executive officer commented: "We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Berenberg and Hannam & Partners as Joint Corporate Brokers and we look forward to working with both firms to further strengthen our relationships with new and existing institutional shareholders."

Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR) (TSX:COG) announced following the receipt of notices for the exercise of warrants, it has issued 260,416 new ordinary shares with a nominal value of 20p each at a subscription price of 31p per share and has received gross proceeds of £80,730.

Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) said it has awarded Saint Consulting (UK) Limited 200,000 share options pursuant to services being provided for the construction activities required to complete the Cononish Gold and Silver Mine processing plant and other infrastructure. The share options have an exercise price of 71p per depositary interest of no par value each and vest upon successful completion of hot commissioning of the Cononish mine processing plant if achieved on or before December 31, 2020. The share options shall lapse if unexercised by December 31, 2023.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS) (NASDAQ:TLSA), a biotechnology company focused on innovative therapeutics for oncology, inflammation and infectious diseases, announced that its CEO and CSO, Kunwar Shailubhai will share insight into Tiziana's development pipeline and upcoming milestones during an investor webinar, hosted by RedChip Companies, on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at 4.00pm US Eastern Time. A live Q&A session with Shailubhai will follow the presentation. To register for the free webinar, please visit: https://www.redchip.com/corporate/webinar_register/68

Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) (NASDAQ:VRNA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on respiratory diseases, has announced that it will report its audited financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, on Friday, August 14, 2020, and host an investment community conference call at 9.00am EDT/2.00pm BST to discuss these financial results and provide a corporate update. To participate, please dial one of the following numbers and reference conference ID 4180419: 877-870-9135 for callers in the United States; +44 800 279 6619 for international callers. A live webcast will be available on the Events and Presentations link on the Investors page of the company’s website, www.veronapharma.com, and an audio replay will be available there for 30 days.

Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) announced that, with the exception of Resolutions 10 and 11 (relating to the authority to allot securities and the disapplication of pre-emption rights), all the resolutions put to shareholders at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday were duly passed. Details of the numbers of shares voted, including in respect of which valid proxy appointments were made in advance of the AGM, will be available on the company's website at www.aminex-plc.com 

Rose Petroleum PLC: (LON:ROSE), the Rocky Mountain focused oil and gas company, announced that at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday, all resolutions were duly passed. As a results, the group added, the change of the company's name to Zephyr Energy PLC was approved by shareholder and will become effective once Companies House has issued a new certificate reflecting the new name and a further announcement will be made once this has been received.

Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) (NASDAQ:AMYT), a global, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from serious and life-threatening rare diseases announced that at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday, all resolutions were duly passed. The full text of each resolution was included in the notice of the meeting, which was posted to shareholders on June 30, 2020, and is available on the company's website: www.amrytpharma.com

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO), the developer of next-generation proton therapy systems for cancer treatment, announced that at its annual general meeting (AGM) held on Wednesday, all resolutions were passed on a poll. The company also said that, as announced on June 8, 2020, Gabriel Urwitz, Peter Sjöstrand, Chunlin "Allen" Han and Dr Yuelong Huang, all non-executive directors of the company, did not seek re-election at the AGM. Accordingly, these directors have now stepped down from the board with immediate effect and consequently, the size of the board has decreased from 12 to 8 people.

C4X Discovery Holdings PLC (LON:C4XD), a pioneering Drug Discovery company, announced that it is to cancel and reissue a number of unexpired options to subscribe for its ordinary shares of 0.1p each which have been held by various employees and the directors of the company since their grant between 2015 and 2018. It said the regrant brings the strike price of the share options into line with the current market price of the company's shares and should now deliver a viable incentive and reward package to the employees and directors. The regrant options have an exercise price of 16p, being the closing price of the group’s ordinary shares on July 28, 2020, and they can be exercised at any time between 3 years and 10 years of them being granted.

Angling Direct PLC (LON:ANG), the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK, announced that at the company's annual general meeting held on Thursday, all resolutions were duly passed. The company also confirmed that it will be announcing a trading update for the six months ending July 31, 2020, on August 18.

Mosman Oil and Gas Limited (LON:MSMN) the oil exploration, development, and production company, has announced that it will be hosting an investor webinar via its joint broker, Monecor UK Limited on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, at 5pm Investors can register to attend using the following link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5907193699015387664

APQ Global Limited’s (LON:APQ) subsidiary Delphos International has appointed former US ambassador to Argentina Noah Mamet as its chairman for the Americas.

Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) announces that the parties to the Ruvuma Farm-Out Agreement have agreed to extend the long-stop date for satisfaction of the conditions to the Farm-Out from 31 July 2020 to 31 August 2020.  Aminex and ARA Petroleum Tanzania Limited ("APT") continue to work closely with the Tanzanian Government to obtain approval for the Farm-Out.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) has issued 20mln options to Paul Johnson, Chief Executive (12.5mln) and 7,500,000 to Andrew Bell, Chairman. The Director Options will be subject to a condition that they may only be exercised when Power Metal has traded with a volume-weighted average share price of 2.0p or higher for at least 6 months.

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