Safestay PLC (LON:SSTY), the hostels operator, tumbled 8.3% to 11p after it announced the temporary closure of eight hostels.

The move reduces bed capacity across the chain to 45% of normal.

Meanwhile, all directors, head office employees and senior management will either take a 25% pay reduction or choose to reduce salaries by 40% and receive share options in lieu. As a result, together with other associated cost reductions, this means that there is no change to the company’s forecast cash position, announced in August.

2.15pm: French Connection slumps as sales growth stalls

French Connection Group PLC (LON:FCCN) lost around a fifth of its value at 7p after a downbeat trading update.

The fashion flogger said trading initially picked up in the summer after stores reopened but the trend has now “reversed slightly” after renewed coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

The retailer said wholesale customers are growing in confidence in the UK, with their intake of winter goods improving and reorders running ahead of last year driven by more casual product, while there has been “a very good reaction from customers” to the summer 2021 collection.

In the US there is more caution from the department stores, with winter goods only really starting to flow more recently, it added.

1.10pm: IMC Exploration to begin appraisal drilling at North Wexford

IMC Exploration Group PLC (LON:IMC) advanced 10% to 1.35p after it was granted permission to commence appraisal drilling on its North Wexford gold project.

Approval has also been given to commence trial pit sampling to upgrade IMC’s West Avoca spoils and tailings mineral resource estimate.

IMC will commence follow-up drilling on a gold-in-soil anomaly in PL 1200, North Wexford, Ireland.

12.05pm: Scapa sees continued improvement across both of its divisions

Scapa Group PLC (LON:SCPA) jumped 7% to 147.5p after it said half-year revenues are going to top expectations revised during the pandemic.

Revenues for the industrial and healthcare divisions are expected to be 22% and 26% lower than the prior year, bringing group revenues down 24% to £122mln.

The manufacturer of tapes and bandages said the combination of the better than anticipated business performance in the first half, cost containment actions and continued improvement across both divisions has laid a solid foundation for the second half.

11.05am: Marshall amps it up

Marshall Motor Holdings Plc (LON:MMH) revved 10% higher to 132.5p after it said it continued to significantly outperform its fellow car dealers in the new vehicle market.

The company, which broke even last year, is targeting profit before tax of around £15mln for the current year.

“Our operational performance in August and September, in particular, was strong across all key like-for-like new vehicle sales metrics and we have also delivered significant like-for-like growth in both used car sales and aftersales,” said Daksh Gupta, the chief executive of Marshall.

10.10am: Ncondezi in demand as its largest shareholder joins the board

Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) shares surged 17% to 3.7p after it said it is appointing Scott Fletcher, the group’s largest shareholder, to its board.

Fletcher has built his position in the company by primarily buying in the market and in recent fundraisings, and is uniquely placed to represent investors’ interests at board level.

Fletcher boasts an MBE for services to business and community in the north of England.

9.15am: Calm down, Saga shareholders; it’s only a share consolidation

Saga PLC (LON:SAGA) shares were showing up on some sites as being up 1,300% at 146.7p in early trade on Tuesday. Chill, Saga shareholders; it’s all because of a share consolidation.

The scheme to replace 15 old Saga shares with one new one was approved at a general meeting on October 2 and became effective today.

The consolidation means that effectively, each Saga share should be worth 15 times more than it used to be worth although obviously, shareholders will now have fewer shares so it all comes out in the wash, as the saying goes.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC), up 6.4% at 183.5p, became the latest life sciences firm to get a lift from being involved in the fight against the coronavirus (COVD-19).

The company has signed a commercial agreement with the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai healthcare group to provide antibody profiling for COVID-19 samples.

Specifically, Oncimmune will analyse serum samples from staff exposed to or infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Proactive news headlines:

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) said it has signed a commercial agreement with the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai healthcare group to provide antibody profiling for coronavirus (COVID-19) samples. Specifically, Oncimmune will analyse serum samples from staff exposed to or infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It will then identify biomarkers of the disease and compare these to a control set of healthy patient samples.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has confirmed a significant increase in production at the Kareevlei diamond mine, in the Kimberley region of South Africa. A production report for the third quarter reveals a 34% increase with a new company record of 123,727 tonnes sorted, up from 92,483 tonnes in the comparative period in 2019. Kareevlei yielded some 5,577 carats in the three months, up 40% from 3,973 in the same quarter last year. The grade was reported at 4.51 carats per hundred tonnes.

Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) has said it is appointing Scott Fletcher, the group’s largest shareholder, to its board. Fletcher has built his position in the company by primarily buying in the market and in recent fundraisings, and is uniquely placed to represent investors’ interests at board level. 

Capital Limited (LON:CAPD) has reported higher revenue in its third-quarter amid an uptick in the utilisation of its fleet of mining rigs. In an update for the three months to September 30, 2020, the Africa-focused mining services company reported revenues of US$35.3mln, up 20.1% year-on-year, while the company’s fleet utilisation rate increased by 17.3% to 61% as a result of increased exploration drilling activities.

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO) said it has reached an agreement with the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas to extend the contract for its Undersea Explorer virtual reality (VR) theatre from a term of 18 months from opening to 30 months. The VR entertainment specialist said the new deal will mean the contract for the 36-seat VR theatre and immersive experience centre will run until February 2023, having started operations on August 1, 2020.

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has announced three senior appointments that it said “bolstered the leadership team”. Key among them was the promotion of Brad Calvin to the role of the chief commercial officer after a successful stint as the cell therapy specialist’s vice president of commercial operations. MaxCyte announced two further appointments – Sarah Haecker Meeks, who has joined as vice president, business development, while Steve Nardi has been appointed vice president of the firm’s manufacturing and engineering operations.

Cornish Lithium Ltd has gone live to the public on the crowdfunding site Crowdcube, intending to raise £1.5mln to progress its work in Cornwall. The company opened up the opportunity to pre-registered investors yesterday at 9am and within 30 minutes of this opportunity being offered the amount raised had broken through the target of £1.5 million and the total continued to rise throughout the day, hitting £3 million within three hours. The company is now deciding how much additional funding to accept and when to close the funding round. Cornish Lithium believes that additional funding can further accelerate its work programme in Cornwall, thus creating additional value for shareholders.

Shanta Gold (LON:SHG) has revealed the results of a scoping study for its West Kenya gold project in Kenya. The study envisages an operation that will produce 949,000 ounces over the life of the mine at an all-in sustaining cost of US$850 per ounce, inclusive of pre-production costs. Cash costs were set at US$582 per ounce. The cost to construct the mine was pegged at US$161mln.

NQ Minerals PLC (AQSE:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF) (OTCQB:NQMIY) has filed quarterly production and financial results for its wholly-company, Hellyer Gold Mines Pty Ltd for the quarter ending September 30, 2020. The company owns the Hellyer mine in Australia. Lead concentrate production, at 11,865 tonnes of concentrate, was up 35% from the previous quarter and up 78% compared to the same quarter last year. Zinc concentrate production was up 8% from the previous quarter, at 4,585 tonnes of concentrate, and up 38% compared to the same quarter last year. Unaudited net revenue from Hellyer for the quarter was A$19.1mln and gross profit realised for the quarter was A$10.7mln.

Feedback PLC (LON:FDBK) said the switch to focusing on its flagship Bleepa product has gone a lot more swiftly and smoothly than expected. Reporting results for the financial year to the end of May 2020, the medical imaging specialist said the period was characterised by a move away from older products, such as the TexRAD product, and towards the emerging mobile medical market which has significant potential for growth. The company’s focus is now on Bleepa, an application for clinical staff to securely send and view medical images in real-time on their phones and mobile devices. The shift away from TexRAD did mean full-year revenue slipped to £450,000 from £563,000 the year before, however, while the group’s loss before tax widened to £1.41mln from £1.13mln the previous year.

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR), the small molecule therapeutics specialist, has said it expects to hear this month whether it will receive grant funding for preliminary studies of a coronavirus (COVID-19) anti-inflammatory. An application has been submitted to the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to fund preliminary laboratory studies into whether TYK2/JAK1 inhibitors can alleviate the  “cytokine storm” and other potentially fatal respiratory symptoms of COVID-19. If the grant application is successful, initial studies will begin shortly thereafter said Sareum in its statement of results for the year to end June.

Sareum also announced that, further to today’s final results, Dr Tim Mitchell will deliver a live online presentation to investors via the Investor Meet Company (IMC) platform at 10.00am on Friday, October 16, 2020. Existing and potential investors wishing to participate in the presentation should register with IMC at: www.investormeetcompany.com/sareum-holdings-plc/register-investor. Investors who have already registered with IMC and requested to meet the company will be invited automatically. A copy of the presentation will be made available on the company’s website following the presentation.

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said it has raised additional funds in a share placing to “move swiftly into a number of new positions” to continue its investment strategy. The investment group said it has raised around £2mln through the placing of 23.5mln new shares at a price of 8.5p each, a 12.8% discount to its closing price last Friday, the last business day before the completion of the placing, and a 4% discount to its most recently published net asset value (NAV) of 8.82p. The company has also issued one warrant for every two placing shares that will allow the holder to subscribe for one further share for 12.75p.

Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC (LON:EOG) chief executive Simon Oddie has said he is confident that positive momentum can be carried behind its various projects. In its final results statement, for the year ended July 31, 2020, Europa noted that UK onshore production is due to double and it has refocused its Irish offshore exploration portfolio on lower risk gas targets. Meanwhile, the company also entered Morocco during the year with the receipt of an 11,228 square kilometre licence.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) chief executive Tom Reynolds has declared the company delighted with the news that partner Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) has received approval from the Tanzanian government for its farm-out transaction for the Ruvuma project. It allows ARA Petroleum to take a 50% interest in the project and become operator of the project. Solo, which retains 25% of Ruvuma, said the transaction’s approval marks a key development in the company’s ongoing sales process for its assets in Tanzania.

Quixant PLC (LON:QXT), a leading provider of specialised computing platforms and monitors for gaming and slot machine applications, has said it was informed on October 12, 2020, that Jon Jayal, its chief executive officer purchased 4,191 ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at a price of 119.00p per each and 4,156 ordinary shares at 120.0p each. Following the purchases, the group noted, Jayal is beneficially interested in 383,547 Quixant ordinary shares, representing approximately 0.58% of the company’s issued share capital.

Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD) has announced that its CEO, Fady Khallouf, on October 9, 2020, purchased 100,000 Cadogan shares at 0.26p each. Following this purchase, it noted that Khallouf holds in total 8,242,031 shares representing 3.37 % of the company.

Alien Metals Limited (LON:UFO), a minerals exploration and development company, said that, following the receipt of a warrant exercise notice, it has issued 1,875,000 ordinary shares of no par value in the capital of the company at an issue price of 0.15p per share.

SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX), the  MENA-focused oil and gas company, has announced that it will be hosting a retail investor conference call at 3.00pm (BST) on Thursday, October 22, 2020. The call will provide an update on operations and guidance while also providing a question and answer session for investors. Should investors wish to participate in the event, they should email: sdx@camarco.co.uk

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) has announced that its registered office address has changed with immediate effect to 67C Innovation Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, OX14 4RQ. Going forward, all formal notices and general correspondence should be sent to the new address. The change follows Eden’s recently reported move to its new laboratory and office facilities in Milton Park, one of Europe’s leading science and technology communities.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company has announced the launch of a website gallery providing images and videos of the Molopo Farms Complex project in south-west Botswana. The gallery, which currently hosts images of the preparation of the site for drilling commencement, may be viewed through the following link: https://www.powermetalresources.com/gallery/7/molopo-farms-complex-botswana. Further images and videos will be added to the gallery as the drill programme progresses.