Pebble Beach Systems Group PLC (LON:PEB) jumped 30% to 12p after reporting a sharp increase in underlying earnings (EBITDA) in 2019.
Adjusted EBITDA soared to £3.8mln from £2.5mln, the broadcast software designer revealed, on revenue that rose to £11.2mln from £9.2mln.
“Following the events of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic over the past several weeks, management undertook a risk assessment of its potential impact on our business, and assessed that it is unlikely that our customers will see a material downturn in demand with the potential reduction in advertising spend being offset with the potential for increased activity as populations turn towards media for information and entertainment during a time of isolation and uncertainty,” the company said.
3.00pm: Glencore falls as output declines
The mining firm updated on production volumes for the first quarter.
Copper production totalled 293,300 tonnes in the first quarter, down 9% versus 320,700 tonnes in the comparative period of 2019. Cobalt output was down 44% year-on-year with 6,100 tonnes in the quarter, and, lead production was 17% lower at 61,700 tonnes. Zinc increased by 13% to 295,600 tonnes in the quarter.
2.15pm: Network International hit by collapse in volumes at its merchant solutions arm
Group revenue was broadly flat year-on-year (YOY) in the first quarter, the digital commerce enabler revealed, and then hit hard times in April.
The Merchant Solutions’ total processed volume and revenue declined roughly 60% YOY; the Issuer Solutionsarm was more resilient with revenue down roughly 10-15% year-on-year.
1.30pm: Shell does the unthinkable
Chairman Chad Holliday said: “Given the risk of a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, weaker commodity prices, higher volatility and uncertain demand outlook, the board believes that maintaining the current level of shareholder distributions is not prudent.”
It comes as Shell’s quarterly results revealed the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and declining oil prices, albeit up until the end of March – so, before the most recent collapse and the brief spike into negative pricing.
12.30pm: International Personal Finance rises as it implements alternative collection strategies
International Personal Finance PLC (LON:RIPF) rose by a third to 62p after it revealed that credit collections in March were only below budget by 13%.
The lender estimated collections effectiveness at 76% at the group level in April after what it called a swift implementation of alternative collection strategies and agents resuming home service in most European markets.
Collections effectiveness is expected to be at a similar level in May with improvements anticipated thereafter.
11.30am: Lloyds’ profits plummet
Britain’s biggest lender took an impairment charge of £1.4bn, which it said reflected the revised economic outlook from the effects of the pandemic and some charges relating to existing restructuring plans.
On top of this, there was another £421mln of charges, mainly relating to negative insurance volatility from falling equity markets and widening corporate bond credit spreads.
10.30am: InfraStrata asks for more time to pay administrators for purchase of Harland & Wolff
InfraStrata PLC (LON:INFA) lost a tenth of its value at 0.27p after its half-year results statement.
The company’s chairman, Clive Richardson, said it expects to be cash break-even at the famous Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast within the next 12 months although, given the current situation viz the coronavirus lockdown, it has asked the administrators for an extension period in order to pay the final amount of the consideration for the acquisition of the shipyard.
The company posted a loss before tax of £2.95mln in the six months to the end of January, compared to a loss 12 months earlier of £394,627.
9.30am: Gulf Marine Services considering offer from Seafox
Seafox said its indicative offer has been pitched at 9 US cents a share and was made “in light of recent trading and share price volatility” in relation to Gulf Marine (GMS).
The GMS board advised shareholders to take no action while it considers the offer.
The company’s biomarker platform has been selected to help identify COVID-19 patients who are at risk of severe disease and to profile patients who will benefit from therapeutic treatment.
The study is being led by the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, and NHS Scotland.
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Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR) said it has discovered a new gold mineralised outcrop on its Glenish gold target in the Longford-Down gold trend. The gold exploration and development company said channel sampling in the Glenish gold target has identified gold-in-bedrock – 1.0 metres (m) at 0.4 grams per tonne (g/t) – from an outcrop of Arenite gouge, with pyrite mineralisation. This newly discovered gold outcrop is located over 500m northeast from the gold-in-bedrock previously intersected by drilling and enhances the overall prospectivity of the Glenish gold target, Conroy said in a statement.
ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) said it is focused on the “optimum route forward” for the business that includes the phase III development of its key asset, Lupuzor, but will also focus on up and coming candidates in the portfolio. Its nucant and peptide programmes appear to have the potential to open three therapeutic areas: cancer, metabolism and anti-infectives. ImmuPharma also told investors, as it reported full-year 2019 results, that it was looking at potential other auto-immune disease uses for Lupuzor distinct from the treatment of lupus.
BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC) has issued a coronavirus-focused update in which it says the pandemic has not been all bad for its business. The group expects its Bio-Medical division to perform well during the global lockdown period and the Networking & Cyber division to experience a temporary slowdown. Given the uncertainty surrounding the length and economic severity of the crisis, it is too early to estimate the financial impact on the company for the whole of 2020, the provider of real-time technologies for networking solutions and medical laboratory systems said. As previously announced, BATM has launched a new diagnostics kit to detect coronavirus (COVID-19) that received certification in March 2020.
Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) (NASDAQ:VRNA) outlined plans for the coming months as it updated on a busy start to the year and confirmed it is financially well placed. The company is focused on developing discoveries such as ensifentrine for respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The focus going forward is on the preparation for what’s called an end-of-phase II meeting with the US Food & Drug Administration to discuss Verona’s success in delivering the drug using a nebuliser. Scheduled for this quarter, the formal conversation with the American regulator will guide the design of a phase III study.
Zaim Credit Systems PLC saw an 11.6% year-on-year growth in the amount of money lent out in the first quarter of 2020. The lender, which operates in Russia and targets borrowers not well-served by mainstream lenders, said the amount funded in the first quarter rose to £2.55mln from £2.32mln a year earlier and £2.28mln in the preceding quarter. The amount lent dipped a bit in March as the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) began to take hold. In April, the lender said it saw a significant decrease in demand, leading to an expected decrease of around 44% year-on-year in the amount funded, which the company attributed to the reduction in footfall throughout Moscow resulting from the measures enacted regarding COVID-19.
Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) has reported “exceptional” drill results from the Havieron deposit, in Western Australia, confirming continuity of the higher grade mineralisation. The latest drilling results expand the footprint of the mineralisation within an arcuate sulphide zone as well as surrounding proximal breccia, the company said in a statement. Highlights of the drill intercepts included grades up to 9.3 grams per tonne (g/t) over 22.8 metres n(m), as well as seeing other cuts with grades of 6.2 g/t, 4.4 g/t and 3.8 g/t.
Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) said it has secured £250,000 in additional funding through a loan with NatWest to boost its working capital and continue its planned build programme for 2020. The media firm said the loan, made through the UK government’s backed interruption scheme, will be drawn down in full and repayable in 12 monthly instalments, the first of which is due 13 months after the drawdown. The company also said that in line with the UK’s job retention scheme, it has extended the furloughing of around half of its full-time workers to the end of June as well as implementing a 50% pay reduction for all staff earning over £2,500 per month.
Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) has reported a jump in full-year revenue as its underlying losses (LBITDA) narrowed by around 50%. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Africa-focused timber group noted that revenues had risen by 45% year-on-year to US$19.5mln, while its LBITDA from continuing operations narrowed to US$1.9mln from US$3.8mln. The company also said recovery rates from its sawmill in Gabon had risen to 40% from 33% during the year, while post-period it had recommenced operations in Mozambique after more than two years.
European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) said the Czech Ministry of the Environment has granted Geomet the preliminary mining permit related to the Northwestern part of the Cinovec deposit. The group said the permit, which is a necessary legal pre-qualification before obtaining a final mining permit, has been issued for a period of 8 years and guarantees the company the priority right to apply for and obtain a final mining area and a final mining permit. It noted that the preliminary approval for the Northwestern part of the deposit covers an area of 1.27 square kilometres and, together with the existing preliminary mining permits, now encompases the entire Cinovec ore reserve.
NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF), the base metals and gold/silver producer from the Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania, announced that it has appointed VSA Capital Limited as its corporate broker, with immediate effect, alongside First Sentinel who are the company’s Aquis Exchange financial. The company noted that VSA Capital is a specialist in the natural resources sector and provides ongoing long-term advice to listed companies on all aspects of interaction with new and existing shareholders, as well as equity research.
Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), the AIM-listed mining company, said it has elected to pay the interest of $29,591.45 due on April 29, 2020, on the $7,101,947 bond issued to Atlas announced on 31 January 2020 by the issue of 15,582,523 shares at a price of 0.15327p each. It noted that, under the terms of the Atlas Bond Issuance Deed, the company is entitled to elect to make payment of interest in shares at an issue price of 90% of the Volume Weighted Average Price of the shares on the business day prior to the interest payment date.