The information technology firm focused on the educational sector said it had got off to a positive start to 2020 but then operations were knocked for six by the coronavirus outbreak in the second quarter.
“As education systems start to reopen, we are seeing trading improve and RM will look to play a key role in helping our customers’ transition to new ways of working,” said David Brooks, the chief executive of RM.
2.30pm: Nothing to boohoo about at Sosandar
Sosandar PLC (LON:SOS) rose 14% to 11.75p after it said second-quarter losses were cut by 70% after it significantly reduced marketing spend.
The company is planning to gradually restart customer acquisition strategies over the rest of the year.
The online fashion retailer said revenues for the first quarter climbed 54% despite the crisis, and the company was “very close” to breakeven in June.
1.30pm: Micro Focus writes down value of assets as lockdown effects bite
The company said that the pandemic is expected to disrupt new sales activity and timing pressure on renewals.
It also told investors that its revenue performance is consistent with guidance, with the coronavirus (COVID-19) creating delays in buying behaviours with customers in April.
12.30pm: Pure Gold intersects gold at Red Lake
Pure Gold Mining Inc (LON:PUR) shares hardened 7.4% to 109p in London after it revealed underground drilling at the Red Lake Mine had intersected gold.
The dual-listed Canadian mining company said the drilling has intersected high-grade gold mineralisation from both infill and step-out drill holes.
Drilling has extended gold mineralisation out from planned stopes, has discovered new gold zones that will be integrated into the mine plan, and has confirmed stopes scheduled for near term production.
11.30am: Reach reports sharp decline in revenues
The group reported that revenues in the second quarter had fallen 27.5% year-on-year due to falls in circulation and ad spending, although it highlighted that trends had “slightly improved” in June with revenue falling only 23.9% in the month compared to 30.5% in April.
Print media declined by 29.5% in the period while digital revenues were down 14.8%. Reach added that circulation remained “significant below pre-[coronavirus] levels” and that local advertising was “continuing to be challenging”.
10.30am: Altitude hit by slump in promotional activity
From mid-March and throughout April and May, Altitude’s supplier partners reported sharp year on year declines of up to 80% in regular promotional product orders, in-line with wider industry reporting.
With many US states beginning to emerge from shutdown – although others appear to be heading back towards it – activity has increased through Altitude’s marketplace with demand for traditional products showing modest increases. Industry reporting supports order activity for June at around 50% of 2019 levels, it added.
9.30am: Avingtrans and LPA Group on the rise after contract wins
The first contract, worth US$4.85mln, has been won in South Korea, while the second contract, worth £2.5mln, is with a nuclear plant operator in the UK.
The company said its results for the year to the end of May are expected to be “close to original expectations” despite the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The contract awards, worth £3.3mln in aggregate, are for the UK and Australian railway markets.
“These three awards, from three separate customers, continue to grow our order book and underpin sales through the coming periods, whilst reinforcing that rail projects continue in these uncertain times,” said Paul Curtis, the chief executive officer of LPA in a statement.
Proactive news headlines:
finnCap Group PLC (LON:FCAP) said it recorded its strongest ever first quarter in 2020 with revenues 50% higher than the same period last year, boosted by capital raising activities, which has flourished during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The broker helped clients raise significant sums of cash to strengthen their balance sheets, particularly in the tech and life sciences sectors, with Avacta’s £48mln fundraiser among the highlights of this busy period. The company, which has added M&A and debt advisory to its traditional investment banking services, told investors that market volatility had provided a fillip too by helping drive up trading income. Turnover for the three months ended June 30, 2020, was £9.8mln, up from £6.5mln, while advisory fees were also £6.5mln.
Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) said it has received positive assay results from samples identified as having vanadium potential taken from field sampling in the Colorado mineral claims held by American Vanadium Pty Ltd. Other samples, identified as potentially uranium-rich, are being assayed at a separate laboratory facility which is better equipped for samples of this nature. American Vanadium holds interests in uranium and vanadium-focussed projects, in Colorado and Utah in the United States of America. Thor announced plans to acquire it in June, subject to satisfaction of due diligence requirements.
SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) has said its collaboration with Winclove Probiotics on the development of a food supplement is well ahead of schedule. SkinBio is working with Winclove on a probiotic food supplement to help manage the symptoms associated with the skin condition, psoriasis. The good news is that Winclove has already come up with a formulation to be known as AxisBiotix Ps. Before going into commercial production, the product will undergo a human study with patients suffering from mild to moderate psoriasis. SkinBio stressed that the study will be a food supplement study, not a therapeutic trial, and as such should not take as long.
Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said its hVIVO lab services operation has signed three new contracts, adding to the momentum behind the business. It has landed work with NoBACZ, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, a new second deal with Nearmedic, and has agreed to run testing for an unnamed Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech. “We are now continuing to sign additional new virology services contracts with third-party customers,” said Open Orphan chairman Cathal Friel in a statement.
In a separate statement, Open Orphan also said it had received notices of exercise of warrants by investors who participated in the Venn loan note financing in December 2018 over 1,749,732 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 0.1p each for 619,448 ordinary shares and at a price of 2.2p for 1,130,284 ordinary shares. The gross proceeds of this exercise received by the company amount to £25,485.72.
Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) has welcomed the passing in the US House of Representatives of the ‘Moving Forward Act’, a new automotive safety bill. It promises to drive demand for the company’s driver monitoring system (DMS) technology, which use cameras and facial recognition to ensure drivers are paying attention to the road. The Moving Forward Act specifically includes a plan to mandate driver monitoring in cars and trucks sold from 2024. It will also require new vehicles to have automatic braking, lane-keeping, blind-spot detection, event data recorders at the same time.
Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT), the Big Data technology company, has been earning brownie points by helping its clients manage more efficiently during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The group said that while its operations have not been adversely affected by the lockdown, a lot of its customers have had to find new ways of doing things, and Rosslyn’s technology has assisted in enabling them to do this. The coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted new risks within the supply chain and Rosslyn said it has been able to assist its clients to better understand where the risks are and enabled them to build increased resilience into their supply chains.
Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP), a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, has revealed that its portfolio company, Celerum Limited has been sub-contracted to support software development for Aberdeen-based marine logistics firm PlanSea Solutions Limited. The company noted that the work builds on approaches proven in several projects undertaken by Celerum founder Professor John McCall, former Head of the School of Computing, Science and Digital Media at RGU who has more than 25 years research experience in nature-inspired computing (NIC) which looks to develop new software and AI algorithms based on natural processes and behaviours. Examples of NIC include particle swarm optimisation, based on how birds and fish behave in flocks and schools, and genetic algorithms, software techniques based on natural selection and evolutionary genetics. Frontier IP holds a 33.8% equity stake in Celerum.
Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS) has inked a new three-year agreement with NovaBone Products, which produces US FDA-cleared synthetic bone grafts. NovaBone is a long-standing customer, since 2015, with the AIM-quoted firm supplying specialised collagen biomaterials specific to their line of bone graft products that are used in orthopaedic and dental applications. The contract begins with a minimum 3-year period and It formalises a longer-term supply arrangement to ensure NovaBone has consistent and increased access to this specialised material to support their continued growth.
Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) said it has agreed two new contracts for its BRICKLIVE events in the group’s second-quarter as many zoos hosting its events begin to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown. In an update for the quarter, the media and events group said it has agreed to display its BRICKLIVE Ocean content at the Da Vinci Science Centre in Pennsylvania, while it has also signed a deal to display its Paw Patrol tour at the Odysseum museum in Köln in Germany until August. The company also said its BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise tour was now open at the John Bull Zoo in Michigan, while its BRICKLIVE Supersized content was now open at the Marwell Zoo in Hampshire and its BRICKLIVE Ocean exhibit is scheduled to open soon at the Bristol Zoo Gardens. The firm’s BRICKLIVE Big Cats show is also due to open at the Banham Zoo in Norfolk at the end of July.
Impax Asset Management Group PLC (LON:IPX) saw its assets under management (AUM) rise sharply in the April-June quarter of 2020. At the end of June, the group’s AUM stood at £18.1bn, up 25.8% from the end-March figure of £14.4bn. “Despite recent market volatility, Impax has again delivered significant growth, with net inflows of over £960 million for the quarter to 30th June,” declared Ian Simm, the chief executive of Impax in the third-quarter update.
World High Life PLC (AQSE:LIFE) (OTCQB:WRHLF) said its CBD brand, Love Hemp has successfully landed ISO 9001:2015 certification to provide an international mark of quality. The certification confirms the brand’s quality management standards, efficiency and customer satisfaction. It follows a rigorous and comprehensive company-wide audit by a recognised certification agency, the company noted. The process began in June 2019 and the on-site audit completed in April.
Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) has updated on the development of a coronavirus test by its portfolio firm, Paraytec Limited, in partnership with the University of Sheffield. The investment firm said Paraytec has completed the first four stages of a five-stage process to produce an artificial version of the coronavirus to avoid using live versions of the disease during proof-of-concept development of the test, and that the final construction stages of the viral mimic will be reported on in the next phase.
Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) said it has repaid a debt taken out last year and reported on its expanded cryptocurrency mining capacity following its first month of operation after the latest Bitcoin halving. Over the month of June, Argo said it had mined 180 Bitcoin or Bitcoin equivalent compared to 252 in May, taking the total amount of Bitcoin mined in the first six months of the year to 1,669. Mining revenue in June amounted to £1.41mln from £1.93mln in May, meanwhile, the company generated an average monthly mining margin of around 27% compared to 34% in the prior month.
NQ Minerals PLC (AQSE:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF) (OTCQB:NQMIY) has raised £917,485 at 6.5p per share for general working capital purposes and to accelerate the re-opening of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania, Australia. The company acquired the Beaconsfield gold mine in June 2020. Beaconsfield has a JORC resource of 1.454mln tonnes at 10.3 grams per tonne gold, giving 483,000 ounces.
Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) said it has made two board changes, including the appointment of Brook Nolson, currently a non-executive director of the global medical technology company as its chief operating officer, with immediate effect. The company said Nolson, who has been a board director for the last five years will report directly to its chief executive officer Neil Campbell and will assume responsibility for the day to day operations for the whole group. It also announced that Toby Foster, one of the founding members of the group, has been promoted to the position of managing director of Inspiration Healthcare Limited to spearhead the drive for the future growth of the business following the recent acquisitions of Viomedex and S.L.E. Limited.
RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL) has announced the appointment of Peel Hunt as its joint corporate broker, alongside Nplus1 Singer with immediate effect. The group said its board appreciates and values the efforts of Nplus1 Singer, which have been an important element in bringing the company to its present size and looks forward to working with both brokers to market the firm to as broad a range of shareholders as possible, thereby improving the rating the shares currently trade on, increasing secondary market liquidity for existing shareholders and spreading fixed costs across a greater asset base, which will also allow the investment manager to pursue opportunities currently available.
Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN), a multi-brand franchise business, will announce its half-year results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, on Thursday, July 30, 2020. A conference call for analysts will be held at 9am on the morning of July 30, 2020. If you would like to receive further details of the call, please contact MHP Communications on 020 3128 8734 or Ailsa.email@example.com.
ADM Energy PLC (LON:ADME), the AIM-listed oil and gas investing company has said it it will host an online investor call on July 14, 2020, at 10.00am BST. The investor call will be led by the company’s CEO, Osamede Okhomina, who will discuss ADM’s full-year results announced on June 30, 2020, the secondary listings in Germany announced on June 25, 2020, and answer questions from investors. There will be no new material or trading information provided on the day. The call is open to all existing and potential shareholders and interested parties can register their interest in attending using the following link: https://forms.gle/rwe6rqE5BXykeyHVA. Participants are requested to submit questions in advance by 10.00am BST on July 13, 2020. Shortly following the conference call, a recording of the meeting will be made available from the company’s website: www.admenergyplc.com.