Shares in white-label products maker McBride PLC (LON:MCB) were left on the shelf after another profit warning following sales declines in the UK and France.
Full-year adjusted profit before tax is now expected to be roughly 15% lower than the current market consensus of £22.1mln, as long as there are no significant raw material cost changes.
The shares tumbled 18% to 66p.
1.45pm: Property Franchise Group to pursue a “buy and build” strategy
The Property Franchise Group PLC (LON:TPFG) saw its shares climb 11p to 213p after it announced plans to pursue a “buy and build” strategy.
To this end, it has launched a new financial services division and appointed Mark Graves to the new role of financial services director, which is a non-board position.
The division will be targeting the acquisition of financial services businesses that are relevant to the property franchises firm’s core business.
12.30pm: Wool pulled over the eyes of Lekoil
Lekoil Limited (LON:LEK) shares plunged when trading resumed this morning, with more than two-thirds wiped off the share price at 2.86p.
After trading finished yesterday the company revealed that the loan agreement announced earlier this month, ostensibly with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), seems to have been entered into by the company “with individuals who have constructed a complex facade in order to masquerade as representatives of the QIA”.
Broker SP Angel said the US$184mln loan deal with an interest rate of 3.72% always looked too good to be true “when Lekoil’s Nigerian focused peer Seplat Petroleum … is currently paying nearly double for its revolving loan agreement”.
11.30am: Iconic Labs smashes it with joint venture agreement
Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) has entered into a joint venture with London-based creative agency Bacchus, sending the shares 14% higher to 0.0825p.
The name of the joint venture, which will be focused on marketing services, is Coalition Media.
The media and technology firm said Coalition will use Iconic’s experience with social media, digital content production and access to media platforms to assist clients of Bacchus.
10.30am: Flowtech Fluidpower warns on profits after tough fourth quarter
The board now expects underlying profit before tax for 2019 will be not less than £9.0mln; the consensus forecast prior to the profit warning had been for a profit of around £10.9mln.
Revenue is expected to be around £112.4mln, versus expectations of £115mln, after a particularly tough fourth quarter for the group.
9.30am: Parity Group turns cash positive
This would represent a transformation from the net debt position of £1.1mln at the end of 2018.
The company added that it traded in line with expectations in the second half of last year.
“These wins evidence strong trading in the final months of the financial year and bear out the board’s confidence at the interim stage in D4T4’s significant pipeline of new business opportunities with new and existing clients alike,” the company said.
Some of the contract wins announced today have been won on an “as a service / recurring revenue” basis, D4t4 revealed.
Proactive news headlines:
Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) told investors that the Mozambique government has issued a mining licence for the ‘9228C’ area, which is the third and final licence for the Mutamba heavy mineral sands project. The project, which is being advanced in partnership with mining major Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO), spans some 11,807 hectares and is now covered by a mining licence that’s valid until September 2044, with a possible 25-year extension.
Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) has signed a licence agreement with Entertainment One (eOne) to produce BRICKLIVE tours themed around characters from the Peppa Pig cartoon franchise. Under the terms of the agreement, Live Company will have non-exclusive rights to produce tours in the UK and Ireland until 30 September 2023 in return for a royalty fee. The first tour is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020.
Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) has taken a “first significant step” to revitalise its Proleukin drug by agreeing to supply the product to an American life sciences company developing exciting new cancer immunotherapies. Iovance Biotherapeutics is carrying out pivotal studies of its tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) technology on head, neck and lung patients with advanced forms of the killer disease.
Eden Research plc’s (LON:EDEN) chief executive Sean Smith hailed the “significant progress” made by the crop health specialist last year, which he said “will ultimately result in an expansion of product sales revenue in new product markets and geographies”. In 2019 the company received its first marketing authorisation for its second commercial product, Cedroz, which combats nematodes found in the soil. Fungicide Mevalone saw its geographic footprint spread.
Personal Group Holdings PLC (LON:PGH), which provides employee services such as staff discount schemes, is starting to see the benefit of recent investment in sales and marketing. The group traded in line with expectations in 2019 and said it had made good progress on delivering the strategy implemented since the appointment of Deborah Frost as chief executive (CEO) in March.
Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT) expects underlying earnings (EBITDA) to be positive in the second half of the current fiscal year. In its results statement covering the half-year to the end of October, the company revealed its revenue declined to £3.12mln from £3.53ln in the same period of last year, reflecting the strategic decision to eschew low-margin business. The gross margin improved to 81.2% from 78.4% in the first half of the previous year.
Frontier IP Group PLC’s (LON:FIPP) portfolio company, Fieldwork Robotics, had raised £298,000 through its first equity funding round. The intellectual property investor said the proceeds will be used by Fieldwork to accelerate development and scale-up its fruit harvesting robotics technology.
Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) has highlighted a trading update released by DNO International – its partner in Kurdistan – which reported an increase in production volumes from the Tawke field. The Tawke licence, which is host to two fields, produced 124,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2019, up from 113,100 bopd in 2018.
United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) told investors that Tullow Oil PLC (LON:TLW), partner and operator for its high potential Jamaica exploration project, has reached an agreement with the Jamaican authorities to extend the initial exploration licence period by six months. It means that a ‘drill or drop’ decision will need to take place before 31 July 2020, rather than 31 January 2020.
Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) is in ‘active discussions’ over the finance options to develop Leigh Creek in Australia as a second source of revenue. Revenue currently comes from the Cobre iron ore tailings operation in New Mexico. This rose by 12.5% to US$713,000 in the final quarter of 2019 but dropped over the year to US$2.5mln from US$3.35mln due to an ongoing dispute with one customer.
H&T GROUP PLC (LON:HAT), the UK’s leading pawnbroker, has announced that Richard Withers will be joining its board as chief financial officer with immediate effect. In a statement, the company noted that Withers joined the group in 2018 and has fulfilled the role of interim finance director with great ability, leading to his permanent appointment. The company also announced that Martin Pugh will not be continuing as an executive director of H&T, and he will resign from the board, also with immediate effect.
Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) is expecting its stake in one of its investee companies, The Drops Esports Inc, to increase ahead of its acquisition by Canadian company Fibresources Corp. The media and gaming investment firm, which owns a 13.6% stake in Drops, said it expects this to rise to 18.6% prior the completion of an all-share acquisition of the investee firm by Fibresources, which is predicted to occur before 31 March.
Primary Health Properties PLC (LON:PHP), a leading investor in modern primary healthcare facilities, has announced that following a review of the skills, experience and knowledge of the Board and the consideration of its size and composition as part of the Nomination Committee’s annual evaluation process, a Board of six, consisting of four independent non-executive directors and two executive directors is the appropriate size for the company going forward, given the relative simplicity of the business model. Accordingly, it said, a replacement for Helen Mahy, whose decision to retire at the company’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for April 2020 was announced in November 2019, will not be made and Dr Stephen Kell will not be standing for re-election at the AGM. Separately, the group said it will announce its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2019 on Wednesday 12 February 2020.