Bigblu Broadband PLC (LON:BBB) added one-eighth to its market value at 99p as more directors topped up their holdings.
The provider of broadband services said its non-executive chairman, Michael Tobin, had bought 8,000 shares at 80p a pop taking his stake up to 0.43%, while another non-executive director, Christopher Mills, bought 50,000 shares, also at 80p each.
The purchases follow yesterday’s news that Mills had bought 2.9mln shares at 78p each.
2.20pm: IQ-AI – let’s go! (this will make sense if you read down to the AO World story)
IB Stroke process both MR and CT perfusion image sets of stroke victims. In doing so, the software can be used by clinicians to help determine the usefulness of treating the patient with clot-busting drugs.
This approach can potentially save oxygen-starved brain tissue but brings it a host of potential side-effects, the med-tech group said.
1.25pm: Capital & Regional perks up after decent rent collection result in September
“Rent collection is now in excess of 50% for the September quarter which is ahead of both our previous two COVID quarters at the equivalent stage and above the national retail average,” chief executive Lawrence Hutchings told investors.
98% of the shops that rent space from Capital & Regional are open and trading across the group’s seven shopping centres. September footfall was 76.1% of the prior year equivalent.
12.30pm: “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” – Tommy & Dee-Dee Ramone
The online retailer said the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a structural shift to online shopping among consumers.
In a trading update, the electrical and white goods retailer said it expects revenues for the period to be around £715mln, up 57% year-on-year, with revenues in its UK and German markets rising 54% and 83% respectively.
11.30am: Marston’s announces massive culling of jobs
The job cuts were revealed in a trading update for the year ended October 3, in which the group reported that sales in the year were £821mln, 30% below last year, as the company was hit hard by pub closures during the UK’s lockdown period.
While the company highlighted that it had outperformed the UK pub sector in the 13 weeks since reopening its pubs on July 4, with managed and franchised like-for-like sales averaging 90% of last years figure and ahead of its forecasts, it said the new three tier system of restrictions introduced by the government earlier this week has undermined consumer confidence and created uncertainty.
10.30am: GCM Resources top of the tree after signing framework agreement
GCM and China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction (NFC) have agreed to establish a joint venture entity that will be responsible for progressing and implementing the framework agreement.
It is intended that NFC will acquire an interest of 5% of the joint venture entity from GCM based upon a valuation of the project to be agreed upon with GCM or its affiliate or investment partner holding the balance of ownership of the project.
9.30am: Volex and Norcros on the up
The supplier of bathroom and kitchen products said the second quarter of its financial year delivered a sustained level of profitability with “excellent cash generation”.
Half-year underlying operating profit is expected to be around £12mln, down from £17.1mln the year before, while net debt is expected to have been slashed to about £8.0mln from £41.1mln a year earlier.
The supplier of integrated manufacturing services and power products said its performance has continued to improve since the end of July, as a result of which it now expects revenue and profitability for both the half-year and the full year to be above current market expectations.
“Absent another widespread COVID-19 related global lockdown, given the robust performance in the first half of the year, coupled with our strong forward order book position, the board expects to see a strong performance for the year as a whole that will be above current market expectations,” Volex executive chairman, Nat Rothschild said in the update.
Proactive news headlines:
Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has cheered a maiden JORC-compliant resource for the Magellan project in Cyprus. The company has an earn-in deal for the project, which will see it acquire up to 50% of the asset. Magellan is now estimated to host some 8.5mln tonnes of mineralisation with a copper grade of 0.63% along with additional potential for gold, silver and zinc. An exploration target has, meanwhile, been formalised between 2.7mln and 8.5mln tonnes at grades between 0.5 and 0.8 grams per tonne, for some 42,000 to 216,000 ounces, plus between 3.3 and 8.2 g/t silver, for 297,000 to 2.21mln ounces.
IQ-AI Limited (LON:IQAI) has launched its latest application on-time and into a multi-billion dollar market. IB Stroke process both MR and CT perfusion image sets of stroke victims. In doing so, the software can be used by clinicians to help determine the usefulness of treating the patient with clot-busting drugs. This approach can potentially save oxygen-starved brain tissue but brings it a host of potential side-effects, the med-tech group said.
discoverIE Group PLC (LON:DSCV) is to resume paying dividends now that the outlook for the designer and supplier of customised electronics is improving. The group, reporting on trading in the six months to the end of September 2020, said that the business had been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic but noted that orders in both September and October were ahead of sales. The group exited the first half of its financial year with orders up 6% year-on-year on a like-for-like or organic basis. Half-year sales were down 6% year-on-year, or 8% on an organic basis.
Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) said its portfolio firm, The Vaccine Group (TVG), has signed a collaboration deal with the Pirbright Institute and ECO Animal Health Group PLC (LON:EAH) to develop a vaccine to combat porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV), one of the most economically damaging diseases in the global pig industry. Under the terms of the deal, ECO Animal Health will fund an 18-month development project that will see TVG use its novel vaccine technology as a platform for two prototype PRRSV vaccines. Meanwhile, Pirbright, a world leading centre of excellence in controlling viral diseases of livestock and viruses that spread from animal to humans, will supply the PRRSV genes and conduct animal trials for the vaccines to test their effectiveness.
Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) said it has received 100% of its contracted September quarterly rent payments. That means it has now received all of its contracted rent for 2020 to date, the trust said. Supermarket Income invests in sites occupied by major supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Waitrose, all of which have seen sales surge due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Bango PLC (LON:BGO), the data-driven e-commerce specialist, has appointed a regional vice-president to support the expansion of its business in south-east Asia. Man Pham, who joins Bango from carrier billing aggregator Fortumo, will work with Bango customers and partners to expand coverage and increase customer acquisition activities worldwide. Elsewhere, Keisuke Kishida has joined the Tokyo-based team with a brief to maximise the success of global merchants (including Amazon) that use the Bango Platform to grow faster.
Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) has updated investors on the status of its commercial aircraft fleet and a number of lease transactions as it continues to manage its portfolio and liquidity amid the coronavirus pandemic. In an update, the firm said it has retained the core complement of commercial, legal, financial and technical skillsets and personnel to ensure it has the resources needed for a lessor platform in the post-coronavirus recovery phase, adding that the impact of the pandemic on the air transport sector has been “material” and that it is managing its portfolio and liquidity “as efficiently as possible”. Since the start of the pandemic, Avation said it has completed 12 aircraft transactions including lease extensions, aircraft sales and the origination of new leases. Meanwhile, the firm said two Fokker 100 aircraft were sold off the end of their leases, with the sale completed in September.
Clear Leisure PLC (LON:CLP) has issued an update to investors regarding claims relating to its historical assets and PBV Monitor, in which it owns a 10% interest. The AIM-listed firm said the third court hearing in respect of its €10.8mln legal action against the former directors and internal audit committee of Sipiem has now been held in the Venice Court, and that the judge has ruled that an independent expert should be appointed to assess the value of the damages claimed by Sipiem with each party having the right to appoint their own experts. Clear Leisure said its lawyers consider the appointment as a positive development in the court process and that it remains confident of the “strong foundation” of its claim.
Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) said it has successfully concluded an £80mln share placing, providing the financial backing to take its lead drug through final-stage clinical trials in patients with severe coronavirus (COVID-19). The cash will also be invested in scale-up activities with the aim of producing 100,000 treatment courses per month next year. And it will be used to generate further data to support SNG001’s clinical development, manufacturing and the input needed during the regulatory process. The company could receive a further £7mln from an open offer of stock to investors that did not take part in the placing in which shares were sold at 175p each.
Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO), soon to be relaunched as Scirocco Energy, is to issue US$425,000 worth of new equity after the subscriber in June’s lending facility issued a part-settlement notice. It comes after a strong rally in Solo’s share price as joint venture partner Aminex unlocked the Ruvuma joint venture project after the Tanzanian government approved a farm-out transaction with ARA Petroleum. An investment facility via Prolific Basins LLC – a US-based specialist energy-focused investor – was entered into at the end of June. Some US$1mln has been drawn under the facility to date. Today, Solo told investors that the subscriber has issued a settlement notice for US$425,000. Solo has issued some 35.8mln new shares to the subscriber, with a deemed price of 0.92p each (Wednesday’s closing price: 2.38p).
Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) said it has received notification that on October 13, 2020, the interest of Sales Promotion Services S.A., being a significant shareholder in the company has reduced to 663,773 shares representing 5.48% of the total issued share capital. No other details regarding the decrease have been disclosed to the company. The holder notified Caledonia on June 26, 2019, that it held an interest in 848,773 shares which, as at that date, represented 7.89% of the company’s total issued share capital. Caledonia announced on November 13, 2017, that it had been informed that the beneficial owner of Sales Promotion Services S.A. is Heinrich Auwärter.
First Sentinel Plc (LON:FSEN) said it has raised £1,500,000 from the issue of bonds at £1 each to an institutional investor, the sixth tranche of bonds to be issued. The company announced on June 27, 2019, that it intended to issue up to £7,000,000 sterling-denominated 7.5% Secured Bonds due May 31, 2024. It further announced that it expected to issue the bonds in tranches over the course of 2019 and 2020 as and when further funds are raised. The bonds are redeemable each year. The issue of this sixth tranche will bring the total bonds in issue to 2,907,042. First Sentinel also announced that it has redeemed 75,000 AQSE Bonds. The redemption price, comprising the principal amount and accrued interest, has been repaid to investors in full. A total of 427,118 AQSE Bonds have been bought back and are currently held in treasury.
Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON), a multidivisional new media and technology business, has announced that, as part of the process of negotiations with European High Growth Opportunities Fund (EHGOF) in respect of the debts owed to EHGOF, the company has formally terminated all contracts and other arrangements between the company and EHGOF, with immediate effect. This is consistent with and follows from the company’s previously announced intention not to issue any further drawdown notices under the EHGOF facility. Notwithstanding the termination, the accrued debt to EHGOF remains, and negotiations in respect of the settlement of this debt continue. The company said it will provide further updates in due course.
APQ Global Limited (LON:APQ) has announced that as at the close of business on September 30, 2020, the AIM-listed investment group’s unaudited book value per ordinary share was 26.31 US cents, equivalent to 20.35p.
Jersey Oil and Gas PLC (LON:JOG) has illustrated and shared its ambitions for its flagship UK North Sea development project, with a new corporate video entitled ‘The Buchan Oil Field – A New Beginning’. “We are very pleased to share our vision for the potential future production of the iconic Buchan oil field, the core part of our development plans for the wider Greater Buchan Area. JOG is planning for a low carbon, sustainable oil development, supporting the required energy transition phase and the UK economy for many years to come,” said Andrew Benitz, Jersey chief executive in a statement. ‘The Buchan Oil Field – A New Beginning Corporate’ video is available to view on the company’s website at: https://www.jerseyoilandgas.com/media/videos/