Gas heating, electrical and building services provider Bilby PLC (LON:BILB) revealed profits more than halved due to losses at its P&R subsidiary.

Shares fell 7.6% to 24p in reaction.

Bilby reported pre-tax profit of £2.5mln for the year to 31 March, down from £5.8mln a year ago. Revenue fell to £69.6mln from £78.8mln last year.

Its P&R business, which supplies gas heating and maintenance services, recorded an underlying loss of £2.1mln due to two loss-making contracts with Carillion Amey and East Kent Housing.

P&R recently gave notice to end its contract to supply building maintenance services for UK Ministry of Defence properties, which is still subject to dispute.

1.00pm: Clinigen gains as CFO buys £35K in shares after 2019 profits jump

Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) shares edged up as its chief financial officer bought a good whack of shares after the company posted stronger 2019 earnings and issued a positive outlook. 

Adjusted gross profit rose 30% to £182.3mln on revenue up 20% to $456.8mln in the year to 30 June.

The pharmaceuticals firm said future organic adjusted gross profit is targeted to grow by at least 5% to 10%, with 2020 expected to be towards the upper end of this guidance.

CFO Nick Keher purchased nearly £35,000 worth of shares following the results.

Shares rose 4% to 920p. 

11.30am: SAGA rallies as it reports progress on turnaround plan 

SAGA PLC (LON:SAGA) shares moved higher as first-half profits halved but the company said a plan to turn around the business was starting to pay off.

The firm, which specialises in products for the over 50s, saw profit before tax fall to £52.3mln in the six months to 31 July from £109.7mln a year ago.

Chief executive Lance Batchelor said the group was making good progress in its strategy to improve its performance, including “encouraging” sales of the group’s new three-year fixed price insurance product.

Shares were up 7% to 48.62p.

Venture Life Group plc (LON:VLG) shares dropped 11% to 36p as the firm said it has undertaken “significant mitigation planning” for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

The firm, which develops products for the self-care market, said in its interim results: “To ensure our product supply to the UK market remains uninterrupted, we prepared ourselves for a possible Brexit impact in March 2019, which entailed minor cost.

“We are preparing for a similar situation in October 2019, chiefly by ensuring that there is adequate stock in the UK and that our international manufacturers are able to continue supply in the short term.”

9.30am: Charles Taylor shares surge as it agrees £261mln deal to be taken private 

Charles Taylor PLC (LON:CTR) shares jumped as the British insurance services firm agreed to be taken over by a company backed private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners.

Jewel Bidco Ltd has offered 315p per share in cash to take Charles Taylor private, valuing the business at £261mln.

The offer represents a 34% premium to the company’s closing share price on Wednesday.

Charles Taylor’s shares surged 36% to 321p on the back of the announcement.

Newmark Security PLC (LON:NWT) was also on the front foot as it swung to a full-year profit.

The company, which provides electronic and physical security systems, said profit from continuing operations came to £292,000 in the year to 30 April. That compares to last year’s loss of £1.9mln.

Turnover grew 22% to £19.5mln and gross margins improved to 39.7% from 36.1%.

Its shares gained 14.8% to 0.78p.

Going the other way, Petards Group PLC (LON:PEG) shares fell 17.9% to 16p after the surveillance systems group said profits would be hit by delays to some orders.

The company said that various Department for Transport franchising decisions during 2019 have affected the timing of some orders.

Pre-tax profit in the first six months of the year plunged to £206,000 from £514,000 the year before on turnover that fell 8% to £8.9mln from £9.7mln.

The City Pub Group PLC (LON:CPC) shares sank 9.2% to 197.5p after warning that it rein in its expectation plan due to political and economic uncertainty.

The group, which owns posh pubs such as The Jam Tree in Chelsea and Clapham, said it “will take a much more prudent and even more selective approach” to acquisitions and focus instead on completing development exiting sites, reducing debt and improving dividends until there is more certainty.

“We cannot ignore the uncertainty in the market due primarily to Brexit and the potential impact of a no-deal,” said executive chairman Clive Watson.

Proactive news headlines

The City Pub Group PLC (LON:CPC) has reported an almost 20% rise in profits for its first half as it shifted its focus toward developing its pub estate and improving dividends for investors.

Jersey Oil and Gas PLC (LON:JOG) confirmed it has landed new acreage from the UK government’s 31st supplementary offshore licensing round.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has confirmed the completion of its acquisition of assets from EdgeMarc Energy Holdings, including twelve Utica gas wells and related facilities.

Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) said its international platform was taking shape to support higher organic growth as it said profits advanced by a third in the first half.

IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) said it has received positive air-core drilling results for its Bianouan gold licence in Côte d’Ivoire.

hVIVO PLC (LON:HVO) said it is primed for profitability next year. The projection was made alongside interim results that revealed £11mln of costs have been extracted from clinical development services business since 2017.

Renewable power provider SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited (LON:SAE) said it achieved its best-ever operating results at its MeyGen tidal power project. Revenue for the first six months of the year increased to £2mln from £1.3mln the year before, with the majority of the revenue coming from MeyGen power sales.

In Sound Energy PLC’s (LON:SOU) half yearly results the company told investors that it continues to expect completion of monetisation efforts for its Eastern Morocco portfolio before the end of 2019.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) has installed 1,000 new cryptocurrency mining machines, taking the total number in production to 6,000.

Pharm2Farm, one of Braveheart Investment Group PLC’s (LON:BRH) investee companies, has reported good results from a basil-growing trial in Korea.

Red Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR) expects to receive official confirmation of the grant of licences for its mineral assets in Kenya soon.

Copper explorer Asiamet Resources PLC (LON:ARS) expects proposed upgrades to bridges and roads in Central Kalimantan in Indonesia to take a chunk out of transport costs at its BKM project.

Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG) has received another payment of US$600,000 from the Congolese national oil company.

Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) said an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for its Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali is progressing as planned.

Cabot Energy plc (LON:CAB) has agreed to raise US$350,000 of funds through a share sale to partner and major shareholder High Power Petroleum LLC (H2P).

Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) will present positive interim data from a Phase 2 trial with its dry powder inhaler formulation of ensifentrine in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the European Respiratory Society International Congress a week on Sunday. As announced in March, the magnitude of improvement in lung function and duration of action were highly statistically significant and support twice daily dosing of ensifentrine for the treatment of COPD.