Fuller, Smith & Turner Plc (LON:FSTA) shares advanced 7.4% to 1,192p after the pubs operator said it would return £69mln in cash to investors after selling its British beer business to Japan’s Asahi Group (2502.T) this year.
The company said the capital return is at the top end of the range indicated when the deal was announced. The group completed the £250mln sale of the business in April as part of its strategy to focus on pubs and hotels.
Fuller also said it had made a good start to the new financial year, with like-for-like sales in managed pubs and hotels rising 2.5%.
While revenue is expected to be higher, the company left its earnings (EBITDA) forecast for 2019 remain unchanged.
2.00pm: Kefi Minerals rallies as development of Tulu Kapi gold project set to start
Shares in Kefi Minerals PLC (LON:KEFI) rose 12.5% to 1.1p after the miner confirmed the development of the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia would begin in October.
Executive chairman of KEFI and TKGM, Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, said: “All parties are completing the last-minute actions for next month’s start of the 24-month development schedule to achieve full production in 2021.”
Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) shares edged up 13% to 8p after signing its first collaboration deal with an unnamed “leading antibody technology company” as it seeks to develop an early-stage technology created to directly kill tumour cells.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two will assess the technology in various formats including antibody-drug conjugates, where the antibody is linked to a drug; as bispecific antibodies that combine two or more cancer toxins; and as stand-alone antibody products.
In contrast, Zimbao Metals PLC (LON:ZBO) shares fell 33% to 0.2p as it said it would write down the value of its trading subsidiary Masterpiece Enterprises Ltd after losses mounted following changes to new import regulations in China.
The company said: “Despite undertaking significant cost cutting and implementing measures to seek new suppliers which can comply with the new import regulations into China for the group’s products, the pace of this change, as we indicated in our interim results announcement, has been very slow and this has continued in the second half and into the current financial period, with the group continuing to make trading losses.”
The group said it was “now clear that there will need to be a significant exceptional write-down of the existing carrying value of Masterpiece of HKD30,046,000 (£3.1mln) in the group’s final results for the year ended 31 March 2019.”
11.40am: Mirada shares jump on contract win, Mobile Streams slumps on plans to delist
Under the contract, Mirada will help develop Plataforma’s TV streaming service using its Iris over-the-top platform.
Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores expects the commercial launch of the project to take place during the first quarter of 2020 and to reach at least 600,000 subscribers eventually.
The mobile games apps firm said it considers the move to be in the “best interest of the company and its shareholders as a whole” after struggling to secure investment as it grapples with weak trading.
It said the scale of the business is “no longer appropriate for that of a publicly quoted company and the costs of maintaining trading in the ordinary shares on AIM”.
In the first half of the year, the group’s revenue more than halved to £1.3mln, hit by tough competition in India and a weaker Argentine Peso.
9.50am: Quiz shares strut lower as challenging trading conditions persist
The company said revenue in the year to date will be broadly in line with last year after adjusting for unprofitable business streams that have been terminated.
“Consistent with the widely reported conditions on the UK high street, the business has experienced a reduction in store footfall during the period compared to the previous year when the group experienced particularly strong demand,” it said.
The group added: “Whilst trading conditions are expected to remain difficult, the board continues to believe that, through the strength of Quiz’s flexible business model and increasing online focus, the group can return to sustainable profitable growth in the medium term.”
Just Group PLC (LON:JUST) shares slid 8.6% to 42.30p as the retirement products firm abandoned a plan to reinstate its dividend for the 2019 financial year, blaming regulatory and economic uncertainty.
The company, formerly known as Just Retirement Group plc, ditched the dividend as it revealed profit fell more than a quarter in the first half on the back of a sharp fall in new business.
Underlying operating profit fell 27% to £114mln due to a 39% decrease in new business operating profit to £74mln.
The data is from a phase 2a trial of the company’s Milciclib monotherapy in patients who are resistant or intolerant to the Sorafenib drug for treating metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma, a cancer that usually spreads to lungs, lymph nodes, adrenal gland and bones, including the skull.
In July, Tiziana reported that clinical data from the trial indicated that Milciclib was well tolerated with manageable toxicities and no recorded drug-related deaths, thereby meeting the trial’s primary endpoint.
In Wednesday’s update, the group revealed the trial also met its secondary endpoints including progression-free survival and time to progression.
The energy consultant to UK and Irish firms said profit before tax rose to £3.23mln in the six months to the end of June from £2.09mln a year ago as revenue rose 33% to £21.56mln. The growth was led by its corporate division, which grew its order book to £55.4mln from £53.0mln last year.
Proactive news headlines
Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) has won a contract with the European Space Agency to build a prototype fuel tank to meet growing demand for low-cost components from the satellite constellation market.
Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) has signed its first collaboration deal with an unnamed “leading antibody technology company” as it bids to develop an early-stage technology created to directly kill tumour cells.
Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP) is set up for a busy second half of 2019, according to chairman Leo Koot, who alongside interim results highlighted a number of upcoming exploration opportunities.
Highlands Natural Resources PLC (LON:HNR) has announced that chairman and chief executive Robert Price is leaving the company to pursue other interests as the AIM-quoted firm confirmed it was becoming a vertically integrated CBD company.