The business expenditure monitoring specialist has agreed a rescheduling of the amortisation profile of its banking facility, the net effect of which is to provide an additional £3mln of capital in the short-term.
The company’s banker has also agreed to revised banking covenants that provide “material headroom to the current business plan”.
2.15pm: Travis Perkins keeps partially active during the lockdown
Travis Perkins PLC (LON:TPK) hardened 4.7% to 1,068p despite revealing sales for the first three weeks of April were down by two-thirds on 2019.
The builders’ merchant and home improvement retailer said it has been partially active during the lockdown, delivering services to essential construction programmes such as the Nightingale hospital network and national infrastructure maintenance.
In a trading update, the FTSE 250-listed firm also said group sales in the quarter to March 31 dropped by 5%.
1.00pm: Erris Resources more than doubles in value as it hits high-grade gold targets
Erris Resources PLC (LON:ERIS) saw its shares more than double in value at lunchtime, soaring 106.6% to 7p after the explorer reported its “two highest grade gold results to date” at its Loch Tay project in Scotland.
Chief executive David Hall said the results were “highly encouraging” and revealed “a large mineralised system in the Lead Trial and adjacent areas”.
He added that the geochemistry, structure and mineralisation style had led them to believe that the prospects in Loch Tay “have the potential to host significant gold mineralisation”.
Elsewhere in the mining sector, Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) climbed 18.4% to 2.9p as it received approval from Bandan Koordinasi Pernanaman Modal, the investment co-ordinating body in Indonesia, for the further exploration permit on its KSK Contract of Work in central Kalimantan.
The exploration permit allows the company to undertake further exploration activity on its key target areas over the next two years.
Meanwhile, Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX) rose 3% to 85p following news that its portfolio firm Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS) reported that its PXS-5505 treatment for myelofibrosis bone marrow cancer is “well tolerated with no safety signals” in a Phase 1b clinical study.
Pharmaxis said the trial had demonstrated that the drug “effectively inhibits all enzymes in the lysyl oxidase family that are involved in fibrosis” and that the pre-clinical program, regulatory advice and opinions from leading clinicians supported progression into a Phase 2 study.
11.30am: STM Group banks on recurring revenues to get it through the pandemic period
Underlying profit before tax in 2019 dipped to £2.6mln from £3.7mln in what was described as “a year of transition”.
The company acknowledged the “unprecedented impact” the coronavirus is likely to have on its business but management said it is confident “that the nature of our annual recurring fees, which are predominantly based on a fixed quantum rather than a percentage of Assets Under Administration (‘AUA’), gives a high degree of visibility for the majority of our revenue for the foreseeable future”.
10.30am: Dark Eldar race to resume hostilities against the Angels of Death
The fantasy and science fiction wargaming systems publisher has begun to slowly restart operations in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Warhammer and Warhammer 40k franchises owner said it will also begin to make trade sales in Europe and North America, adding that a small number of its stores have re-opened in China, the Netherlands and Scandinavia in line with local social distancing measures.
9.30am: Universe Group an early star performer after a trading update
The group said its results for 2019, when they are eventually published, will be in line with expectations, with revenues of £22.4mln, up from £19.9mln in 2018, and adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £3.9mln, up from £2.6mln the year before.
As for current trading during the coronavirus lockdown, the company said it is important to note that all of its customers are retailers of vital supplies, being food, drink and/or fuel.
Smartspace Software PLC’s (LON:SMART) share price rose by nearly 20% to 31p after it said its SwipedOn’s visitor screening technology is attracting interest.
The company recently added visitor screening functionality to help customers minimise the threat from the coronavirus pandemic and since the end of last week, it has seen a noticeable increase in new customer enquiries in New Zealand, which recently announced it would relax some of its lockdown restrictions.
Smartspace has also seen similar interest from Australia, another region that is expected to ease lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks and is hopeful that other companies will show increased interest as the countries in which they operate begin to release the shackles.
Proactive news headlines:
Gaming Realms PLC (LON:GMR) has reported reduced full-year losses and higher revenues for 2019 and said that trading for the first quarter of 2020 came in “ahead of expectations”. Posting results for the year ended December 31, 2019, the mobile gambling games firm reported a loss from continuing activities of £4.6mln, down from £5.6mln in 2018, while revenues jumped by 11.5% to £6.9mln.
Rockfire Resources PLC (LON: ROCK) has revealed that results from its January 2020 rock sampling programme have identified a gold-copper-nickel-cobalt-Platinum-palladium anomaly located only two kilometres north of the company’s Plateau gold deposit on the Lighthouse tenement in North Queensland, Australia. In a statement, the new anomaly, named Split Rock, is likely to enhance the prospectivity of the immediate vicinity of Plateau. Split Rock shares access tracks with Plateau, enabling minimal mobilisation of rigs between the two prospects.
Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR), the specialist small molecule drug development business, announced that its CEO, Dr Tim Mitchell, will give a presentation at BioTrinity 2020, which will be delivered digitally from April 28 to May 1, 2020. The group said the presentation will provide an update of Sareum’s two proprietary TYK2/JAK1 kinase inhibitor programmes, SDC-1801 and SDC-1802, targeting autoimmune diseases and cancers, respectively. Dr Mitchell will also highlight the emerging potential of this mechanism to modulate the severe inflammatory responses and respiratory symptoms arising from coronavirus and other viral infections, it added. The presentation will be made through the BioTrinity virtual portal and will be available to registered participants during the conference and until at least May 9 at https://biotrinity.com/showcase. And a copy of the presentation will also be made available on the company’s website.
ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY) believes its ground-breaking liquid biopsy system could have a role to play helping guide trials of the next wave of cancer immunotherapies. Its Parsortix system is used to harvest circulating tumour cells. Now ANGLE’s scientists are using what’s called an immunofluorescence imaging assay to check for programmed death-ligand 1 expression. Known as PDL1, this particular protein helps keep immune cells from attacking non-harmful cells in the body. However, it also allows the cancer cells to trick the immune system and avoid being attacked as foreign. If a PDL1 expression from a patient’s cancer cells is high, she or he will likely benefit from immunotherapy.
Sure Ventures PLC (LON:SURE) has said that Sure Valley Ventures, in which it holds a 25.9% stake, participated in a €2.2mln (£1.9mln) funding round for a business named Buymie. Buymie has developed a platform which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to allow customers to access large grocery retailers and receive short notice delivery to a chosen destination in less than an hour. The company has signed a multi-year partnership with Lidl Ireland to provide a personalised online grocery service, while consumers are also able to use Buymie to shop from Tesco in the country.
IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) said it has begun a second phase drill programme at the Zaranou gold project in Côte d’Ivoire. The license borders with Ghana and is along strike from significant operating gold mines including the five million ounce Chirano mine and the 5.5mln ounce Bibiani mine. In an update, the company said it will undertake approximately 8,000 metres of air core drilling and 1,000 metres of reverse circulation drilling.
Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) announced that it has successfully raised £139.8mln from a substantially oversubscribed placing of 135,748,028 new ordinary shares at 103p each. The group said that, after careful consideration of the level and quality of demand in the Issue alongside the possibility of acquiring additional assets, its board had determined to increase the size of the Issue to £139.8mln from the original level of £100mln, and added that notwithstanding the increased size of the Issue, investor demand substantially exceeded the gross proceeds raised and as such a scaling back exercise was undertaken.
Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has welcomed the decision of its associate Cobre to take full control of its Toucan Gold subsidiary, the vehicle that owns the Perrinnvale project in Western Australia. The resources investor has agreed to invest a further A$310,000 (£161,000) into Cobre to help it fund the transaction, which will see the Aussie-listed company pay cash of A$527,000 and issue 6.16mln shares to buy out the 20% minority owners. Metal Tiger’s investment will maintain its stake in Cobre at 19.9%.
European Metals Holdings Ltd (LON:EMH) (ASX:EMH) said its Czech subsidiary Geomet has now received €29.1mln following completion of its deal with the power company, CEZ The €29.1mln investment deal between European Metals and CEZ has now completed. Accordingly, CEZ now has a 51% equity interest in Geomet, which is the holder of the licences to the Cinovec project, Europe’s largest hard rock lithium project.
ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR), the gold exploration and development company focused on Australia, announced that at its annual general meeting (AGM) held at on Monday all resolutions proposed were passed.
Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, has confirmed that, given the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, it is no longer possible to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the way that the board had planned and therefore regrettably it cannot allow shareholders to attend in person. The AGM will instead be convened on May 27 at the company’s offices, 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, United Kingdom, with the minimum necessary quorum of two shareholders (chairman and CEO) present to conduct the business of the meeting. The group’s board said it strongly encourages shareholders to vote by proxy instead of attending in person and shareholders are also encouraged to submit any questions they would like to have answered at the AGM by e-mailing it to email@example.com to be received no later than 22 May 2020. A video link of a presentation by the CEO’s presentation will be made available for shareholders to view from 11.00am. on the day of the AGM on the company’s website.