IP Group Plc (LON:IPO) rose 4% to 70.2p as it confirmed a handy profit on the sale of some of its stake in fuel cell group Ceres Power to German giant Bosch.

A secondary market purchase was part of a deal that saw Bosch increase its stake in Ceres to 18% from 4%.

IP Group made £22.4mln through the disposal, with the balance of its holding valued at £75.3mln or a gain of £23.1mln for the year to date based on Tuesday’s closing price of 347p.

Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR), itself, did even better on the news, rising 8% to 374p.

Bosch directly subscribed for £38mln worth of new shares in addition to the bookbuild.

Both the new shares and market purchase were priced at 320p per ordinary share, a 29.5% premium to the 3-month average.


1.45pm: Pelatro rises on “strong commercial momentum”

Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO) rose 7% to 66.11p as it reports of “strong commercial momentum” over the course of 2019.

The software company has been shifting its strategy to a business model based on recurring revenues, which were US$4mln for 2019.

The AIM-listed firm grew its customer base to 19, with five new contracts added last year.

Pets at Home Group PLC (LON:PETS) also enjoyed momentum in sales, which pushed shares up 3% to 294.34p.

The FTSE 250-listed retailer confirmed full-year guidance as its share of the retail pet market continued to grow.

Like-for-like sales grew 7.2% in the 12 weeks to 2 January with retail and the vet hospitals section up by 7% and 8.9% respectively.

12.15pm: Air Partner hits turbulence after profit warning

Air Partner PLC (LON:AIR) shares dropped 21% to 75.9p at noon as it warned profits for the year to 31 January will be £4.3mln, which is lower than expected.

The company’s UK Charter division was hit by slower than expected trading in the final quarter due to a soft market and the suspension of a big contract.

The aviation services group still expressed confidence about the year ahead.

Burberry Group PLC (LON:BRBY) was another faller, losing 3% to 2,200p, despite upping its revenue guidance following better sales in its third quarter.

Analysts attributed the fall to fears over the coronavirus spreading in Asia, where the FTSE 100-listed luxury firm has significant market share.

“It could… have financial implications, which has resulted in a markdown of share prices of those companies which could be affected, such as Burberry,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor.

11.30am: Goldplat surges as it predicts that it will surpass forecasts

Goldplat PLC (LON:GDP) surged 40% to 3.76p as it expects full-year results to exceed current market expectations.

The miner said it benefitted from the higher gold spot price, with operating profit rising 71% to £2.6mln in South African developments.

Operations in Ghana swung to an operating profit of £148,000 from last year’s £241,000 operating loss, while losses in Kenya were halved to £295,000.

Fellow miner Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) was another riser, up 4% to 2.9p following “exceptional” results from a resources sampling programme at the Tavsan gold project in Turkey.

The results included 3.5 metres of drilling at 9.28 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold and 30.5 g/t of silver.

Ariana said they supported the potential conversion of a JORC exploration target at the Tavsan South are of the project to an inferred resource, and that follow-up drilling is planned for the next phase of project development.

Moving to the IT sector, The Sage Group plc (LON:SGE) outperformed its peers with a 5% increase to 771.8p.

The FTSE 100-listed firm reported a continuing improvement in recurring revenue from cloud software and a decline of sales from its traditional business.

Total group revenue rose 6.7% in the three months to 31 December, its first quarter, speeding up from the 5.6% growth seen in its past full year.

10.30am: Dods tanks as fourth quarter expected to be slow

Dods Group PLC (LON:DODS) tanked in mid-morning trades losing 27% to 3.5p after announcing the fourth quarter had a “slow start” and trading will not improve in the rest of the year.

The company, which provides technology platforms to the events and publishing industries, said adjusted earnings for the year to 31 March will be “at least” £2.8mln, which is higher than last year.

However, the uncertainty in UK politics have hit its business, management said.

An eminent loser was Ted Baker plc (LON:TED), which dropped 6% to 300.8p after an independent investigation revealed a way bigger black hole than expected in its accounts.

Clothes and other inventory held on the fashion group’s balance sheet as of 26 January last year was overstated by £58mln, accountants at Deloitte have calculated.

It is more than double the company’s initial assessment of £20-25mln.

Van Elle Holdings PLC (LON:VANL) slid 8% to 50p after a big crash in its interim profits.

The geotechnical engineer’s half-year profit before tax crashed 63% to £0.9mln and the dividend was cut 80% to 0.2p per share.

This was despite revenues were up 13% to £48.5mln in the six months ended 31 October.

9.20am: Somero Enterprises shots up after upgrading full-year guidance

Somero Enterprises Inc. (LON:SOM) was one of the top gainers in early trade on Wednesday morning jumping 9% higher to 283.87p.

The manufacturer of laser-guided equipment said 2019 annual revenues and adjusted earnings will be “modestly ahead” of guidance after the fourth quarter surpassed expectations.

Having concluded the year with US$23mln in the bank, 22% higher than expected, Somero’s management said in 2020 will be “a profitable year with healthy cash generation”.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) was another early riser, adding 4% to 65.75p after announcing it will receive regulatory clearance for its Parsortix cancer test by the third quarter of this year.

The AIM-listed firm said it had a successful face-to-face meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration and is now preparing for a submission to the authorities.

Parsortix is a blood test designed to help doctors detect signs of cancer at an early stage, offering a less invasive alternative to tissue biopsies currently used in hospitals.

Meanwhile, United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) gained 13% to 4.08p after releasing an update on the ASH-2 well at the Abu Sennan field in Egypt, which came online earlier this month.

The well was drilled to a depth of 4,030 metres and was completed in two reservoir intervals, each testing at 7,027 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) and 3,851 boepd respectively.

The asset is part of a package to be acquired from Rockhopper Exploration PLC (LON:RKH).

Proactive news headline:

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) has predicted that it will receive regulatory clearance for its Parsortix cancer test by the third quarter of this year following a successful face-to-face meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The AIM-listed firm said it is now preparing for a full De Novo submission to the FDA, a process that allows the regulator to approve medical devices that have no comparative already on the market.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has hailed “exceptional” results from a resources sampling programme at the Tavsan gold project in Turkey, part of its Red Rabbit joint venture. Kerim Sener, managing director of the AIM-listed firm, said the results demonstrated that the sampled areas of the project were “typically higher grade” than the overall resource, suggesting that there was an opportunity to “identify several rich zones of “structurally-controlled mineralisation within the orebody as a whole”.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) has updated investors on the ASH-2 well at the Abu Sennan field – part of a package of assets to be acquired from Rockhopper PLC (LON:ROK) – which came online earlier this month. In a statement. United noted that ASH-2 was drilled to a depth of 4,030 metres into the Alem El Buieb (AEB) formation and was completed in two reservoir intervals, each testing at 7,027 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) and 3,851 boepd respectively.

Yellow Cake PLC (LON:YCA), a specialist company operating in the uranium sector with a view to holding physical uranium for the long term, said it to initiate a share buyback programme to purchase up to US$2mln of its ordinary shares over three months, commencing on 22 January 2020. The group said its board notes that the company’s shares continue to trade at a material discount to its underlying net asset value hence the decision to implement a share buyback programme as a means of effectively acquiring exposure to uranium at a discount to the commodity spot price. It said the programme forms part of the group’s broader strategy to deliver value to its shareholders.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) has revealed that its 2019 underlying profit was in line with expectations after turnover grew 16% last year, while strong cash generation saw a significant fall in the company’s net debt. The group, which has a number of international star medicine brands as well as important regional product lines, weighed in with what it described as “see-through revenues” of £144.3mln.

Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) has announced that German engineering and technology giant Bosch will increase its stake in the company to 18% from 4% though a share subscription, netting the fuel cell firm £38mln. In a statement, the AIM-listed group said Bosch will acquire the additional stake through a subscription of around 11.9mln new shares at a price of 320p each, a 7.8% discount to Ceres’ Tuesday closing price.

SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) described 2019 as a successful year as it provided a trading update ahead of its financial results, revealing a 12% rise in production. For the year, production averaged 4,020 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) and the company noted that, at asset level, it had either exceeded or reached the upper end of guidance. Looking to 2020, the company’s guidance is pitched at 6,750 to 7,000 boepd, 68-74% higher, as operations continue to ramp-up.

Asiamet Resources Ltd. (LON:ARS) said it intends to relocate its corporate head office function to Jakarta, Indonesia from Melbourne, Australia commencing immediately following on from a review of its operations. In a statement, the group noted: “While there are a number of drivers for the relocation, the Asiamet Board considers that a significant increase in corporate and project activities relating to ongoing funding and development of the Company’s asset portfolio, in particular the nearer term BKM Copper Project, is best served by moving the Corporate head office to Jakarta.”

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) has revealed positive initial results from its 2020 exploration campaign at the Bibemi gold project in Cameroon. Mapping work, at the 90% owned project, has shown a continuation of mineralisation at the main Bakassi area adding 1.3 kilometres to the known strike which now exceeds 5 kilometres. Preparations are underway for a drill programme of 1,500 metres.

88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) said it is considering a potential capital raising which has led it to place a trading halt on its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange. In a brief statement, the energy group said it is currently intended that any such capital raising will utilise the company’s existing authorities and will not be subject to shareholder approval.

NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) (OTCMKTS:NQMLF) is looking to investors across the Atlantic and has retained the services of Ortoli Rosenstadt LLP, an internationally focused, New York-based law firm to pursue a potential ADR listing of the company’s securities in the United States.  In a brief statement, the NEX-listed base and precious metals producer, which operates the flagship Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania Australia said no timetable for a listing has been set.

Tissue Regenix PLC (LON:TRX) said it expects to report sales and earnings (EBITDA) in line with revised expectations as it re-confirmed it is looking for sources of additional finance for the regenerative medicines business. Revenues for the year gone rose 12% to £13mln, the company said in a comprehensive trading update, which also revealed it had £2.4mln of cash, including a £1mln revolving credit facility. This, Tissue Regenix said, was enough to see it through to “at least the end of April”.