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On the Beach bounces back

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

Walker Greenbank PLC -

On the Beach PLC (LON:OTB) had a switchback day, with the shares rising 25% to 331.5p in the wake of news about a possibly effective vaccine for the coronavirus.

Earlier, the holidays group said cancellation rates have been much worse than expected in the final months of its financial year but that it has remained at breakeven at an underlying level.

Booking volumes were down 53% in the final three months of the online travel agent’s financial year to September 30, after falling 75% in the third quarter to end-June.

2.35pm: The Gym Group jumps

The Gym Group PLC (LON:GYM) shot up 37% to 188p after it said it expects a cash burn of £6mln during this month’s closures.

The low-cost gym operator has closed its 167 gyms in England last week as part of the new lockdown announced by the UK Government.

Its three gyms in Wales shuttered on October 26 following the ‘firebreak’ two-week lockdown implemented by the Welsh Assembly, while 13 gyms in Scotland remain open.

1.40pm: Small-cap diagnostic companies' shares slump after Pfizer vaccine news

You can add Avacta Group PLC (LON:AVCT) and Omega Diagnostics Group PLC (LON:ADX) to the list of small-cap stocks under selling pressure following the coronavirus vaccine news from Pfizer.

Avacta, which has seen investors pile into its shares this year on the back of its SARS-CoV-2 virus testing kit, was down by a third at 114p.

Omega, which is working on the UK Rapid test Consortium's COVID-19 lateral flow antibody test, was down by 31% at 52.5p.

12.50pm: Novacyt slumps after Pfizer vaccine news

Novacyt SA (LON:NCYT) plunged 40% to 628p on Monday in the wake of news about the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

The shares have been on an astonishing run this year, rising from 13p at the end of 2019 to 1,050p overnight on the back of its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test.

The possibility that a successful vaccine has been developed could possibly kill this particular golden goose for Novacyt, although there should still be a demand for coronavirus diagnostic tests.

READ Pfizer to submit COVID-19 vaccine candidate for emergency use authorisation next week after positive late-stage trial data

11.55am: EKF Diagnostics finds the market hard to please

EKF Diagnostic Holdings PLC (LON:EKF) slumped 16% to 65p despite it saying it expects full-year performance will be ahead of market expectations.

A significantly improved trading in the core business in the final quarter, along with continued orders for the PrimeStore MTM COVID-19 sample collection device underpins the board's confidence of a strong full year performance.

Market expectations are currently set at £60mln for full-year revenues and adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £23mln.

10.45am: Connells sniffing around Countrywide

Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) saw its shares soar 39% to 202p after the estate agency group revealed on Monday that it has received an indicative takeover approach.

The approach, from rival Connells Limited, throws into doubt the group's plans for a capital injection from private equity firm Alchemy Partners.

In a brief statement, Countrywide said the offer approach from Connells is at a price of 250p per Countrywide share in cash. Countrywide shares, which closed trade on Friday at 145p, leapt 41% higher to 205p in morning trade on Monday.

9.30am: Walker Greenbank surges another licensing deal with Next

Walker Greenbank PLC (LON:WGB) shares were up 12% at 67.5p in early trade on Monday after the upmarket interior furnishings group signed a licensing agreement with Next PLC (LON:NXT).

This agreement, which is for an extensive range of clothing, homeware and accessories for an initial term of two and a half years, follows the collaboration between Next and Walker Greenbank’s Scion brand announced earlier this year.

"We are delighted to be working with Walker Greenbank to develop new products for these wonderful brands. We believe that the combination of their exceptional design work with NEXT's product development, online and retail infrastructure can deliver some new and very exciting product ranges,” said Simon Wolfson, the chief executive of Next in a statement.

Totally PLC (LON:TLY) jumped 5.8% to 18.25p after it posted a sharp increase in adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA).

EBITDA in the six months to the end of September 2020 increased to £2.3mln from £1.3mln the year before on turnover that rose to £43.1mln from £49.2mln.

The provider of healthcare services said it continues to see increases in demand for some services as a direct result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and expects this trend to continues during the second national lockdown in the UK.

Proactive news headlines:

IQ-AI Limited (LON:IQAI) subsidiary Imaging Biometrics (IB) said it has teamed up with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to develop a brain lesion tracking platform to be called IB Trax. Using artificial intelligence, the new technology will be used to assess the development of metastatic and primary brain tumours. IB's quantitative expertise will form the foundation of IB Trax with clinical input provided by the May Clinic, IQ-AI said.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has told investors its farm-out process for the Peregrine project, acquired earlier this year, is now in the final phase with multiple bids on the table. The company highlighted that it received strong interest and the bids were competitive. It has now selected a preferred bidder and final documentation is expected to be executed in the next few weeks – at which point the anticipates announcing further transaction details.

One Media IP Group PLC (LON:OMIP) said it has incorporated a new subsidiary, TCAT Limited, and appointed an experienced management team to enhance the use of its Technical Copyright Analysis Tool (TCAT). TCAT is a software as a services (SaaS) platform developed by One Media to detect copyright infringement within legitimate digital music stores. AIM-listed One Media, which acquires, publishes and distributes digital music rights, said the creation of the subsidiary is part of TCAT’s next phase of development to become a “leading anti-piracy service for the music industry”. In a separate announcement covering trading for the year to October 31, 2020, One Media said that it is “countering the ongoing wider macro challenges” and is continuing to trade in line with market expectations. The company expects to report revenues for the year of around £4mln and earnings (EBITDA) of £1.4mln, an increase of 14% and 30% respectively year-on-year.

Zaim Credit Systems PLC (LON:ZAIM) has turned cash flow positive at the operating level in the third quarter following “outstanding growth” in its online business. The fintech group, which focuses on Russian consumers not best served by mainstream lenders, said the group traded profitably in the third quarter and is experiencing rapid growth. The group generated positive operating cash flow of £149,000 in the third quarter compared to negative cash flow in the previous quarter of £178,000, which the board believes demonstrates that the growth of amounts funded is “healthy, solid and self-sustaining”, which gives the group “good confidence” in the long-term sustainability of its strategy.

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) has said its joint venture partner IAMGOLD Corporation will shortly restart its 10,000-metre (m) air core (AC) drilling programme at the Senala project in Senegal. Prior to the seasonal rains, IAMGOLD had already completed 1,300m AC drilling at the northernmost Faré prospect and will resume its programme there later this month. Initial results from the programme are anticipated in the first quarter of 2021.

Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) (OTCMKTS:SMCDY) has announced the results of a review of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, and a report in relation to the anticipated capital and operating costs associated with planned production at the Lynda/Lorna Doone deposits. The project funding requirement to get production up and running at Paltridge North has now been reduced to US$2.2mln as a result of the adoption of an alternate mine schedule for processing and use of external contractors to undertake mining. What’s more, the total project pre-tax cash has increased to US$35.4mln due to earlier commencement and shorter processing of Lynda/Lorna Doone deposits.

Mailbox REIT PLC, the owner of one of central Birmingham’s largest commercial properties, has increased its dividend target as it looks to conclude a management agreement with the serviced offices group IWG PLC (LON:IWG). IWG, the owner of the Regus chain has conditionally agreed to take on the running of 50,000 square feet that has been converted largely from retail use and which will be operated under IWG’s ‘Spaces’ fascia. The aim is to lift the operating income for Level-One of the Mailbox office and retail development from £1 per square foot to around £27.50.

Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT), at Friday’s close, announced revised terms for its transaction with KPZ International for the Kalengwa exploration project, Zambia. A joint venture agreement struck in April 2020 envisaged two US$125,000 payments scheduled for August and December respectively, but it is now agreed that Bezant will make a single issue of shares to KPZ. Bezant is issuing 76.9mln new shares, priced at 0.25p each, to KPZ shareholders. The pricing is based on the three-day volume-weighted price (VWAP) as of November 5, 2020.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) is to issue US$35mln of convertible loan notes under an existing agreement with Orion Mine Finance. As an adjustment to the previously announced terms of the instrument, the conversion price of the convertible loan notes has been set at 17p. The proceeds from the issue of the convertible loan notes will go towards the first phase of Vanchem's critical refurbishment programme and debt repayment.

Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO), said its mViva platform has been chosen by an Asian telecommunications company (telco) for campaign management operations. The telco is part of a large global group that is an existing customer of Pelatro. The contract is recurring in nature and includes a variety of services as well as the product itself. Over the term of the contract lasting three years, revenue is expected to be between US$1mln and US$1.8mln, depending on the customer's take-up of additional services that are currently under discussion.

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) told investors it has completed the planned drill hole at its Clayton silver-gold Project in Nevada, United States. The hole passed through the target zone before being terminated at a depth of 104.7 metres. It was designed to twin and deepen a historic drill hole CL-15, which measures 7.6 metres with a silver grade of 165 grams per tonne (g/t) and 0.4 g/t gold, and drill core samples have been sent for assay and analysis.

Afarak Group PLC (LON: AFRK) has announced that Melvin Grima, its chief financial officer, will leave the company at the end of the year.  With the current environment, the CFO function will not be replaced, and the responsibility will be entrusted to the CEO with the support of the current finance team. In this respect, the company has appointed Kylie Gauci, the group’s finance controller, as group finance manager. Afarak’s CEO, Guy Konsbruck, said: “Kylie Gauci has been with the Company for a number of years. Her experience and excellent performance made it easy for me to entrust her with the finance manager position.”

Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) (TSX:APY) announced that following the purchase of ordinary shares on November 6, 2020, the company's share buyback programme, as announced on September 25, 2020, has been completed. Over the course of the programme, the company has acquired in aggregate 4,629,703 ordinary shares of 2p each in the company for a total consideration of £5mln, at a volume-weighted average price of 107.973p per share. The programme was largely financed by the partial disposal of the company's non-core equity holdings, allowing for the group to retain its ability to finance growth. Julian Treger, Anglo Pacific’s chief executive officer, commented: "The share buyback programme, which was financed from the partial disposal of the Company's non-core equity holdings has now been completed and we are pleased to see that this has provided an immediate return to shareholders. With a strong balance sheet and undrawn borrowing facilities of US$63.6 million (inclusive of the US$30 million accordion) we are well placed and confident in our pipeline and ability to further grow and diversify our portfolio."

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said on Friday that it has received a notice to exercise warrants over 1,542,400 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 1.0p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of £15,424 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.

Alien Metals Limited (LON:UFO), a minerals exploration and development company, announced that, following the receipt of exercise notices, it has issued 14,833,000 ordinary shares of no par value in the capital of the company at an issue price of 0.25p per share and 2,222,223 ordinary shares of no par value at an issue price of 0.3p per share.

DeepVerge plc (LON:DVTG) has said that all of the conditions of its recommended all-share for Modern Water have now been satisfied or waived and the offer has now been declared unconditional in all respects.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) announced on Friday that it's annual general meeting (AGM) will be held as a virtual meeting as a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions at 2.30pm. on Monday, November 30, 2020. As a consequence of the current measures implemented by the UK Government, shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM but are strongly encouraged to submit their votes by proxy as soon as possible. Voting at the AGM will be carried out by way of poll so that votes cast in advance, and the votes of all shareholders appointing the chairman of the AGM as their proxy, can be taken into account.

IXICO PLC (LON:IXI), the data analytics company delivering insights in neuroscience, will announce its audited Final Results for the year ended September 30, 2020, on Wednesday December 2,  2020. The company said it will be hosting a live online presentation open to all investors on December 2 at 3.30pm (GMT). The presentation will be delivered by Giulio Cerroni, the group’s chief executive officer, Grant Nash, its chief financial officer and Lammert Albers, its chief commercial officer, through the digital platform Investor Meet Company. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add to meet IXICO PLC via the following link: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/ixico-plc/register-investor

OPG Power Ventures PLC (LON:OPG), the developer and operator of power generation plants in India, has announced that its annual general meeting (AGM) will be held at 11.30am on November 30, 2020 at FIM Capital Limited, 55 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1LA.  Given the current guidance regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and the travel restrictions into the Isle of Man, the group recommends that shareholders should not attempt to physically attend the AGM and instead recommends that they vote by proxy. The company also announced that its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended March 31, 2020, have now been published on its website at: www.opgpower.com/investors/results

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC), the leading global immunodiagnostics group, has said its annual deneral meeting (AGM) will be held at 10:00 am on November 30, 2020, at the offices of Zeus Capital, 10 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AG . As a result of the current UK Government guidance on social distancing and prohibiting public gathering over certain numbers, the company has taken the decision that this year unfortunately it will not be possible for shareholders to attend the AGM in person. The AGM will therefore be primarily functional in formation with only a small number of directors and/or other employee shareholders attending in person. The company, therefore, requests that shareholders appoint the chairman of the meeting as a proxy and provide their voting responses in advance of the AGM. In order to facilitate engagement with shareholders, shareholders can submit questions to the directors ahead of the AGM by email to [email protected]Oncimmune.com

SourceBio International plc (LON:SBI), a leading international provider of integrated state-of-the-art laboratory services and products, has announced that it will be hosting a live online presentation open to all investors on Thursday November 12, 2020, at 4.30pm, delivered by Jay LeCoque, its executive chairman, Tony Ratcliffe, CFO and Russell Wheatcroft, COO. The presentation will be hosted through the digital platform Investor Meet Company. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add to meet SourceBio International plc via the following link: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/sourcebio-international-plc/register-investor

MaxCyte, Inc. (LLC:MXCT) (LON:MXCL), a global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, has said its CEO Doug Doerfler will present an overview of the company at the Stifel 2020 Virtual Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, November 17, and at the Jefferies Virtual London Healthcare Conference on Thursday, November 19. Both presentations will be accessible on the company's website, under the Investors tab.

AEX Gold Inc. LON:AEXG) (CVE:AEX), an independent gold company with a portfolio of gold licences in Greenland, announced that a new video covering the operations at the company's past-producing Nalunaq gold project is available to view on its website at: https://www.aexgold.com/projects/nalunaq/

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