Expectations that the government will introduce tougher restrictions on social gatherings has hit many restaurant and pubs groups shares and as a fellow traveller, BigDish has been marked down severely as well.
A third of the Welsh population is set to fall into ‘lockdown’ tomorrow. That’s not local and we urgently require a smarter approach with case data broken down by wards. We have to learn to live with the virus, keep the economy moving whilst protecting the most vulnerable.— Andrew RT Davies (@AndrewRTDavies) September 21, 2020
The company enjoyed a bit of a surge in customer sign-ups during the government’s “eat out to help out” initiative but with expectations high that the government will be switching more to a “stay in to stay uninfected” initiative, things look bleak for the company, which is in cash conservation mode.
2.30pm: Superdry on the slide after tough August and September
The hoodie designer expects full-year store sales will remain under pressure but wholesale should improve from current levels while e-commerce is set to benefit from the continued channel shift arising from social distancing measures in stores.
After resorting to heavy discounts to clear out stock, the retailer expects a hit on gross margin but costs will be “substantially” lower thanks to rent renegotiations, savings in logistics, a substantial reduction in bad debt expense and cuts in discretionary spend and payroll.
1.30pm: Kin and Carta lifts full-year guidance as companies embrace digital transformation
Kin and Carta PLC (LON:KCT) hardened 5.8% to 66p after it upgraded full-year guidance a tad.
The company, which helps companies “go digital”, said the coronavirus pandemic “reinforced the imperative” for companies to not only address digital transformation in their businesses but also accelerate it.
In addition to what it calls its “cloud transformation offering”, it has recently won new projects in the areas of data transformation that are progressing well.
12.30pm: finnCap sees first-quarter momentum continue
finnCap Group PLC (LON:FACP) climbed 6.5% to 24.5p after it joined the list of companies resuming dividend payments.
In an update, the small-cap broker and corporate finance house said the record trading it had seen in the first quarter of its financial year had continued.
As a result, revenue for the six months ending September 30, 2020, will be at least 37% higher at £19.5mln with a ‘significant uplift in profitability on the prior period’, the group added.
11.30am: Eve Sleep rises as it begins search for a new non-executive director
She was the senior independent director. The search is now on for a replacement.
“She's been a huge support, both personally and from a strategic and commercial point of view, and as recent results demonstrate eve is now on a stronger footing and is developing its plans for long term sustainable growth as a profitable business,” said Cheryl Calverley, the chief executive officer of the mattress flogger.
10.30am: Gunsynd shoots higher after upping its stake in Eagle Mountain
Gunsynd PLC (LON:GUN) shot 11% higher to 1.3p after it invested an additional A$131,000 in Eagle Mountain Mining Limited.
Eagle Mountain is an ASX listed copper-gold exploration and development company. The AIM-listed investment company acquired 608,043 shares in the Aussie outfit at an average price of 22 cents.
Gunsynd now owns around 1.54% of the issued share capital of Eagle Mountain.
9.30am: Record in the groove after announcing chunky new investment mandate
Record PLC (LON:RCRD), the specialist currency manager, saw its shares jump 20% higher to 38p in early trade on Monday after the group revealed it has won a chunky new investment mandate.
The company said, subject to contract, it has been selected for a dynamic hedging mandate of roughly US$8bn. The annualised fee rate for this mandate is consistent with Record's other dynamic hedging mandates, based on the size of the allocation, the firm added.
Assuming contract negotiations conclude successfully, this mandate will build up over time and will be revenue-generating by the end of this calendar year, Record said.
The agreement for up to €8bn over five years is with a new “captive bank” – a type of bank that is usually a subsidiary of a company that typically only provides banking services for its parent company.
The fintech group said it has entered into a strategic agreement with and a leading European alternative investment firm and its shareholders, 1AF2 and The AvantGarde Group, to acquire the European bank.
Proactive news headlines:
[email protected] Capital PLC (LON:SYME) has unveiled the outline terms of a strategic inventory funding agreement for up to €8bn over five years with a new “captive bank”. The fintech group said it has entered into a strategic agreement with a leading European alternative investment firm and its shareholders, 1AF2 and The AvantGarde Group, to acquire the European bank. The objective of the deal is to support the growth of the [email protected] platform, investors were told.
finnCap Group PLC (LON:FACP) has joined the list of companies resuming dividend payments after buoyant first-half trading for the group. In an update, the small-cap broker and corporate finance house said the record trading it had seen in the first quarter of its financial year had continued. As a result, revenue for the six months ending September 30, 2020, will be at least 37% higher at £19.5mln with a ‘significant uplift in profitability on the prior period’, the group added.
Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) has acquired a 50% interest in a 2,680 square kilometre portfolio of base and strategic metal project interests in Botswana from Kavango Resources (LON:KAV) to be held in a new strategic joint venture holding company. Consideration for the acquisition payable to Kavango comprises £75,000 in cash, six million shares at a price of 1.25p each and five million warrants at 2p. In addition, Power Metal commits to sole funding of US$150,000 over a two year period for exploration expenditure across the Ditau Camp and Kalahari Copper Belt projects to ensure expeditious and proactive project exploration, with any further expenditure above US$150,000 being funded jointly by Power Metal and Kavango.
Landore Resources Ltd (LON:LND) turned in a £695,000 loss for the six months to end June 2020, almost exactly level with the loss booked for the corresponding period a year ago. The company spent £102,750 on exploration at its highly prospective Canadian portfolio, which includes the BAM gold deposit on the Junior Lake project. Cash at the period end was £79,000. However, the company raised £2.9mln on June 29, 2020, and took delivery of the new funds after the period end. Separately, the company said it is also to acquire half of the 2% net smelter returns royalty held on the Lamaune Lake property for C$150,000 in cash and shares.
Maxcyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has said its full-year revenues are on track to be modestly ahead of current market expectations. The group said the first half of the year saw strong revenue growth driven by high-margin recurring annual fees from its cell therapeutics business, instrument sales and clinical milestone payments. Excluding its investment in its CARMA Cell Therapies subsidiary, the cell-based therapies and life sciences company saw underlying earnings (EBITDA) turn positive at US$0.6mln in the first half of 2020, compared to a loss of US$1.4mln the year before.
Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) has noted that its portfolio company Fieldwork Robotics is to develop a cauliflower harvesting robot in collaboration with the Bonduelle Group. Frontier, a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, said the collaboration with Bonduelle, one of the world’s biggest producers of vegetables, is the second application of Fieldwork's patented agricultural robot technology to gain food industry backing. Fieldwork has already made strong progress with a raspberry-harvesting robot in collaboration with Hall Hunter Partnership, one of the UK's biggest soft fruit producers, and is now working with Bosch to optimise the software and design of the robotic arms. Frontier IP holds a 26.7% stake in Fieldwork.
IXICO PLC (LON:IXI) has been selected to provide its brain scan expertise to a trial being conducted by a leading network of Alzheimer’s research institutions. The UK group will collect and analyse positron emission tomography images generated by the Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation’s (GAP) Bio-Hermes study. Its main purpose is the development of a database to investigate biomarkers on a head-to-head basis in conjunction with medical history elements. The trial will include 1,000 volunteers over the age of 60 screened for pre-clinical Alzheimer's as well as prodromal and mild dementia forms of the disease.
Trident Royalties PLC (LON:TRR) has entered into a binding agreement with Fe Limited (ASX:FEL) for the early payment of the second tranche of the consideration for the Koolyanobbing royalty acquisition, in exchange for a A$350,000 discount. As announced on March 25 and June 3, 2020, the second tranche of the payment for Koolyanobbing required Trident to pay A$3mln on June 4, 2021. Under the amended agreement, Trident will instead pay A$2.65mln by September 25, 2020, which will satisfy the obligation related to the second tranche fully. Early repayment of the facility will allow Trident to crystalise an effective annualised 17.5% risk-free return on capital whilst removing the future payment obligation and releasing security currently registered over the Koolyanobbing royalty in favour of Fe Limited.
Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) told investors that operations have resumed at the Kyalla 117 N2-1H ST2 well at the Beetaloo project in Australia’s Northern Territory, with a fracture stimulation of the well. A production test is expected to follow during the fourth quarter, with results due in the first quarter of 2021, the group said. Results from the Kyalla well will help inform an anticipated decision to either further evaluate this liquids-rich gas play or commence activities in the Velkerri liquids-rich gas play, it added.
EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT), a world-leading gasification technology solutions company for waste-to-energy projects, announced on Friday that the joint venture parties have agreed to further extend the exclusivity period of the Billingham Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) until November 22, 2020. The company entered into a conditional MOU on May 8, 2019, with COBRA Instalaciones Y Servicios, its strategic partner for the development of waste-to-energy projects, and Scott Bros. Enterprises Limited to jointly develop the proposed up to 25 MW Billingham Energy waste gasification and power plant at Haverton Hill, Billingham, UK. The Billingham MOU has been the subject of previous extensions, as announced by the company on October 23, 2019, and June 23, 2020. Subsequent to the extension announced in June, the company said it has progressed the proposed development of the project, including discussions with potential co-developers and funders; instructed and received a full quotation for the grid connection from the grid operator, Northern Powergrid; and completed technical due diligence with insurance providers. The group said the extension of the exclusivity period now is with the aim of finalising the preparation of a legally binding option agreement with Scott Bros which, if agreed, will grant EQTEC and its partners the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the entire issued share capital of Billingham EFW Limited, the Project SPV, from Scott Bros, subject to agreement on consideration and other terms.
Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK) (NASDAQ:AFAGR) revealed on Friday that on Wednesday, September 16 creditors of Afarak Mogale (Pty) Ltd voted unanimously in favour of the adoption of the proposed business rescue plan. It noted that the adopted restructuring plan provides for the disposal of the assets of Afarak Mogale (Pty) Ltd and for the proceeds of such disposals to be utilised in settlement of the claims of creditors. The company said it and its advisors will now embark on a process to invite offers for the assets.
Adamas Fin Asia Ltd (LON:ADAM) has announced that further to the announcement on September 10, 2020, there has been a further delay in the receipt of the remaining subscription monies due under the placing. To date, approximately 60% of the committed subscription monies have been received by the company, with one placee's commitment remaining outstanding. The company said it is in contact with the placee and understands the delay is logistical only. Adamas is therefore expecting to receive these outstanding subscription monies shortly, and in any event by no later than September 30, 2020. The company said it will not extend the timetable past this date and should the outstanding subscription monies not be received by such date, it will take the necessary steps to close the open offer and placing forthwith. Consequently, the timing for the company's name change taking effect will occur as soon as practicable after the placing and open offer has been completed.
Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) announced that it has been notified that John Kelly, a director of Caledonia, has sold a total of 13,163 common shares of the company. It noted that Kelly now holds 16,330 shares which represent a holding of approximately 0.013% of the share capital of the company.
ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC), the provider of cybersecurity services, has announced that Ian Mann, its chief executive officer, will provide a presentation and live Q&A session with investors on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 10.00 am via the Investor Meet Company platform. The presentation will relate to the Group's interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, which will be announced on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. The online presentation and Q&A session is open to all existing, and potential, investors. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and then click "Add to meet" ECSC via the following link to join the presentation and Q&A session: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/ecsc-group-plc/register-investor