Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) is anticipating that it can “successfully operate for an extended period greater than a year” as it unveiled a number of measures to support its finances during the coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft leasing company said its liquidity position is “satisfactory” with total cash of US$129mln, US$53.9mln of unencumbered assets and US$11.1mln in trade receivables.
In a separate announcement, Avation said it is continuing its review of strategic options to maximise value for shareholders, including a potential sale, previously announced in January. The company confirmed that it is “engaged with multiple interested parties as part of the formal sale process” and while several parties remained interested, progress had been delayed “in light of the market dislocation resulting from the [coronavirus] pandemic”.
Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD), the global advanced materials group, has signed an exclusive distributor agreement with Dalian Yibang Technology (DLYB). The agreement is for an initial period of four years and allows DLYB exclusive distributor rights to market Haydale’s electrically conductive graphene-enhanced master-batch in the Chinese and Taiwanese markets.
ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) revealed it has signed a research agreement with an unnamed “major pharmaceutical company” to develop the former’s exosome technology. In very simple layman’s terms, exosomes are used by cells to communicate and are released as tiny “nano-bubbles” into the body to do so. The AIM-listed stem cell specialist has created its own line to deliver a drug payload. Derived from the research group’s CTX neural stem cell line, the exosomes will carry gene silencing sequences developed by the pharma company.
AdEPT Technology Group PLC (LON:ADT) shares rose on Tuesday as the company highlighted a “success story” of helping over 200,000 teachers and 900,000 students in the UK transition to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic. The online services group said since the lockdown was instituted it has seen and managed a 1,047% increase in the number of users of its Freedom2Roam remote working solution, which has been deployed for over 3,000 of its 4,000 served schools through the company’s partnership with the London Grid for Learning.
Regency Mines PLC has purchased part of the corporate debt of Resource Mining Corporation Pty Ltd (ASX:RMI), the owner of the WoWo Gap nickel-cobalt project in Papua New Guinea. Regency has purchased A$1.7mln of debt in RMI for £178,096 cash and 13.3mln shares, representing a 62% discount to the face value of the debt or at full face value an effective issue price of RGM shares of 5p. The deal also involves the introduction of the Chinese-owned Sinom Group as a new locked-in cornerstone investor in Regency, with an initial 7.97% equity position.
In a separate statement, Regency Mines also said it has agreed a new framework for the Mambare nickel joint venture in Papua New Guinea. Regency will take a revised 41% interest in the joint venture, with further reduction occurring if a mining lease award over the Mambare project is recommended by the relevant government agency in the next 19 months.
Bidstack Group PLC’s (LON:BIDS) in-game advertising technology is to be used by game developer Codemasters Group Holdings PLC (LON:CDM) to provide ads in its games encouraging players to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Tech provided by the AIM-listed firm will be used in Codemasters’ Dirt Rally 2.0 game to show players the advice on roadside banners as they race through virtual tracks.
PCF Group Plc (LON:PCF) has said that, as approved by shareholders at its Annual General Meeting on Friday, March 6, it will be making payment to shareholders of the dividend of 0.4p on April 9. The bank pointed out that it has strong cash resources and adequate capital headroom and the size of the dividend payment – the total cash amount being £992,914.68 – does not cause any concerns for the company.
Benchmark PLC (LON:BMK), the aquaculture genetics, health and advanced nutrition company, announced that Trond Williksen will join the company as its chief executive officer (CEO) in June. Williksen is highly experienced in the international aquaculture and seafood industries, having held senior executive positions in the sector for more than 20 years, Benchmark said in a statement. Most recently he was the CEO of SalMar ASA, the Norwegian fish farm company and one of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon.
Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) said it is focused on delivering yet further growth from its “resilient” business as it unveiled a strong set of 2019 results. See-through revenues for the 12 months ended December 31 were up 16% to £144.3mln, which translated to underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £39.4mln, up 22%. The company’s star brands performed well, led by its Kelo-cote scar treatment. The figures also included a first-time contribution from Nizoral, the medicated shampoo acquired from Johnson & Johnson.
Impax Asset Management PLC (LON:IPX) saw good inflows of new money in its latest quarter, which helped partially offset the turbulence in financial markets. Assets under management were £14.4bn at end-March, compared to £16.1bn three months earlier, with £1.07bn of new money helping to counter a £2.78bn decline in the value of its funds. Ian Simm, Impax’s chief executive, said it was a robust performance given the sharp fall in markets generally.
Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) (TSE:APY) has revealed it delivered record income in the year to December 31, 2019. The company saw its royalty-related revenue hit a record £55.7mln, an increase of 21% on the previous record of £46.1mln returned in 2018. This was driven by a strong performance at the Kestrel coal mine in Australia. There was also a 21% increase in operating profit to £44.8mln, despite continued investment in the business which saw operating expenses rise to £7.1mln.
ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) has reported a 91% increase in full-year earnings and said that it is in a ‘strong position” to maintain its operations during the coronavirus pandemic. For the year ended 31 December 2019, the oil drilling and production services firm reported underlying earnings (EBITDA) of US$193.4mln, up from US$101mln in 2018, while revenues surged 132% to US$477.8mln.
Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) has said it will pay an interim dividend next month after it reported “in-line” trading in the first quarter of 2020 and “good revenue growth”. In an update on Tuesday, the healthcare advisory group said it will pay an interim dividend of 1p on May 22, adding that it is aiming to declare a special dividend either before or alongside the next interim dividend, subject to future trading performance and outlook. However, to maintain “as much flexibility as possible” during uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, Cello said it had decided to withdraw its full-year final dividend.
Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) has agreed a further farm-out of its stake in the Beetaloo shale project, in Australia, to partner Origin Energy. The company is transferring a 7.5% participating interest in the project in return for A$150mln of additional cost cover by its larger partner.
Providence Resources PLC (LON:PVR) confirmed, in a statement after Monday’s close, that it has raised £2.7mln with completion of the bookbuild for its share placing. Brokers Cenkos, Davy and Mirabaud arranged the placing, selling 157.9mln shares priced at 1.5p each.
Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) said its chairman and chief executive, Gati Al-Jebouri, has decided to reduce his salary by 50% to £180,000 per year. The company said its CEO had taken the decision with immediate effect from 1 April to assist in further reducing its capital requirements in light of current financial market conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) has made a further shipment of gold doré containing 4,688 ounces of gold to MKS Finance SA. This is further to the company’s announcement on 26 March that it was looking at other logistical options for the shipment and sale of gold doré, due to the suspension of air travel.
BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has said it produced 2,503 carats of diamonds in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 76%. The company also sold 3,267 carats during the quarter, up 77%. However, operations have been suspended on the order of the South African government and will remain on care and maintenance until the market recovers sufficiently for them to become cash-flow positive on a monthly basis.
Advanced Material Development has appointed Dr Izabela Jurewicz to its advisory panel. Currently a teaching fellow in soft matter science at the University of Surrey, she is also principal investigator of AMD’s work at the university. Jurewicz is a former student of and researcher for AMD’s chief scientific advisor, Professor Alan Dalton, and maintains close links with his team at the University of Sussex,
Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) is raising new money via a financing agreement with Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC Limited and YA II PN Ltd. The company has limited working capital and therefore, the board has determined that the financing facility with Riverfort is in the best interests of the company and shareholders.
Baker Steel Resources Trust (LON:BSRT) said its investment portfolio had a net asset value of 67.3p per share, as at the end of March, down just over 8% against the figure for February, as the coronavirus effect began to be felt. The company normally reviews the valuation of its unlisted holdings at the half-year and full year-ends. However due to the recent market volatility and extraordinary situation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the company considered it prudent to undertake a similar review at the end of the first quarter.
SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) (TSE:SDX) has told investors that its operations in Egypt presently remain unaffected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and it expects its Moroccan business will be resilient amidst containment restrictions. The company, in its financial results statement, noted a temporary impact to its customer consumption in Morocco during the second half of March and said it could drop to 50% below levels recorded in the first quarter. Nonetheless, it described the Moroccan business as “extremely resilient” whilst commenting that it could achieve “breakeven” even if consumption dropped to as low as 20% of prior volumes.
88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) told investors that it has proved movable hydrocarbons in the Charlie-1 well, with sampling confirming a large condensate discovery in the Torok formation. In a statement, however, Dave Wall, the explorer’s chief executive, described it as “a mixed result”. The main Charlie target could not be tested because the formation was found to be “poorly developed” and was therefore not sampled. Oil shows previously noted in Charlie are now deemed to be ‘residual’, the company said.
Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) has detailed a number of measures designed to protect the company amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including cost-cutting to reduce cash spending by 40%. The company has also decided to suspend the West Rustavi field operations, to conserve its gas reserves until a pipeline project completes later this year. Early production facilities are presently in transit to the field, in the Republic of Georgia. In a statement, the group said it had US$3.4mln of cash and its crude inventory was worth around US$470,000.
Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, announced that 65,550 new ordinary shares have been issued to the vendors of Cord Worldwide Limited in respect of the non-contingent deferred share consideration due on the second anniversary of Cord being acquired. In addition, Keywords said that 8,194 new ordinary shares have been issued to the vendors of Laced Music Limited in respect of the non-contingent deferred share consideration due on the second anniversary of Laced being acquired.
Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN), a multi-brand franchise business, has announced that all its directors and a number of members of senior management have elected to receive the scrip dividend instead of cash in respect of the proposed 2019 final dividend, details of which were announced on March 30.
Mining investment platform NR Private Market has accelerated the development of its investor lounge to help juniors cope with the coronavirus crisis. NR Private Market is a forum for small mining companies to raise money and communicate with high net worth investors. All technical reports, corporate presentations and weblinks can now be hosted via the investor lounge on the platform, it said.