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CML Microsystems on the rise after confident half-year report

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CML Microsystems Plc (LON:CML) jumped 11% to 254p after an upbeat half-year report.


The maker of semiconductors for the industrial storage and communications markets saw half-year profit before tax slide to GBP771,000 from GBP903,000 the year before on revenues that dipped to GBP12.9mln from GBP13.1mln.


“The company’s cost base has remained stable and our global investment in sales and marketing over recent periods will enable us to take the wider range of highly technical products to a growing audience,” said Chris Gurry, the group managing director of CML Microsystems.


2.30pm: AO World runs into profit-taking


AO World PLC (LON:AO.) storming share price run came to an end as it dived 7.2% to 389p following its half-year report.


The domestic appliance seller swung to an interim profit thanks to the accelerated shift to online shopping during the pandemic and said it expects its market to change permanently even after lockdown restrictions are lifted.


The shares are comfortably the best performers in the FTSE 350 this year but ran into profit-taking today.


1.35pm: PHSC cheers shareholders with interim dividend


PHSC PLC (LON:PHSC) climbed 8.3% to 13p after it declared an interim dividend, despite some misgivings about doing so after receiving government hand-outs.


The personnel health and safety consultant firm saw its half-year underlying earnings (EBITDA) edge up to GBP182,000 from GBP175,000 in the corresponding period of last year, despite revenues slumping to GBP1.38mln from GBP2.23mln the year before, as the pandemic led to a marked downturn in demand for most of its services.


“The improved EBITDA would not have been achieved without considerable support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and local authority grants of, in aggregate, GBP316k,” the company said.


The board has recommended the payment of an interim dividend of 0.5p.


12.40pm: Carnival buoyed by closure of US share placing


Carnival PLC (LON:CCL), the cash-hungry cruises operator, rose 9.3% to 1,317.5p as it closed its previously announced registered direct offering of 10.4mln shares.


The shares were offered at a price of US$17.59 per share to a holder of its 5.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2023. An aggregate US$536.7mln principal amount of Carnival’s shares remain out there in the wild.


The company’s P&O Cruises division revealed today it has extended the pause in operations into April 2021 in response to the current uncertainty around European ports of call.


11.50am: Versarien surges after bagging Ministry of Defence commission


Versarien PLC (LON:VRS) powered 16% higher to 41.05p after it was awarded a GBP1.95mln product development agreement.


The advanced materials engineering group won the gig from the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory, which is a part of the Ministry of Defence.


The agreement is to develop graphene loaded polymer composites for certain defence related applications, the details of which remain confidential.


9.55am: Zoetic on a high after signing a landmark distribution deal


Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) usurped Victoria Oil & Gas as London’s top performer with a 20% rise to 52.5p on the back of a distribution deal.


The cannabinoid (SBD) and hemp business has signed a landmark agreement with the Asian America Trade Association (AATAC) that will bring its Chill brand of cannabidiol (CBD) products to tens of thousands of retail stores across the US.


AATAC is one of the largest trade associations in the US and represents a majority of the nation’s 154,000 convenience stores.


9.00am: Victoria Oil & Gas sitting pretty after licence extension approval


Victoria Oil & Gas PLC (LON:VOG), up 26% at 5.25p, was the top riser early doors on Tuesday after it received ministerial approval for a licence extension.


The Cameroon-based gas and condensate producer and distributor said its subsidiary, Gaz du Cameroun, has received approval from the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development of the African country for the extension of the Matanda Block licence.


The exploration phase of the licence has been extended by one year from December 17, 2020. This has been approved by the Minister and a Presidential Decree will follow under the regulations in due course, Victoria Oil & Gas said.


Sector peer Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) was 13% higher at 5.05p after it completed the acquisition of Schlumberger Rustaveli.


The acquisition gives the company the rights over licences for Georgian onshore blocks IX and XI.


The deal significantly increases Block’s production and provides several development and exploration opportunities that the company plans to advance in the coming months.


Proactive news headlines:


Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) said it has signed a landmark agreement with the Asian America Trade Association (AATAC) that will bring its Chill brand of cannabidiol (CBD) products to tens of thousands of retail stores across the US. AATAC is one of the largest trade associations in the US and represents a majority of the nation’s 154,000 convenience stores. The CBD specialist said the deal will facilitate its introduction and recommendation of its products to over 88,000 AATAC partners which will pave the way for Chill products to be sold from “eye-catching new point of sale display stands at high footfall convenience stores, gas stations and corner stores” in all US states.


Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT) has confirmed copper mineralisation in the first two holes of its drill programme at the Hope copper-gold Project in Namibia. Both holes encountered the targeted copper zone, with a 6-metre zone of indicated copper mineralisation logged in hole GOD002 from 172 metres (m) to 178m depth Drill core samples will be sent for assay, to evaluate for copper, gold and other associated minerals, it added.


Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) told investors it has now completed the acquisition of Schlumberger Rustaveli Company Limited (SRCL), securing the transformational licences for Georgian onshore blocks IX and XI. The deal significantly increasing production and provides several development and exploration opportunities that the company plans to advance in the coming months. It will now start to integrate the assets and operations along with a cost reduction plan to ensure the new assets are operated efficiently.


Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) said it is expected to boost earnings per share by 300% in upcoming results for the 12 months to end September 2020, due to be released shortly. The increase comes following operational improvements on all measured metrics at the company’s South African chrome and platinum operations, as announced in October. The company has also benefited from higher platinum group metals prices, as production shortfalls elsewhere in South Africa have constricted supply.


Capital Limited (LON:CAPD) has announced the expansion of its operations at Barrick Gold Corporation’s Bulyanhulu Gold Mine in Tanzania with the award of two new contracts. The leading mining services company, which is focused on the African markets, said the contracts include a five-year laboratory services contract for MSALABS, together with a two-year underground grade control drilling contract.


Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC (LON:GSF) has switched on or energised its Drumkee project, which at 50Mw installed capacity is the largest in Northern Ireland. A second 50Mw project in Northern Ireland, Mullavilly, is expected to be switched on in December. Both Drumkee and Mullavilly are scheduled to be commissioned and become fully operational in the first quarter of 2021, which will increase Gore Street’s total installed operational portfolio to 210Mw.


Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) said it expects its full-year profits will be on a par with the previous year, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The provider of secure payment products and customer contact solutions added the caveat in its half-year report that its full-year performance could still yet be affected by further extended lockdowns in the UK or the US. Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) in the six months to the end of September 2020 were GBP4.20mln, versus GBP4.22mln in the same period of the previous year.


Sativa Wellness Group Inc (LON:SWEL) has hailed a ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which it said “opens the door for high quality, compliant [cannabidiol] companies to operate in markets across the EU”. The Aquis-listed firm, which distributes and sells CBD products throughout the UK and EU, welcomed the ECJ ruling that CBD is not classified as a narcotic drug and that a French ban on hemp-derived CBD contradicts EU law. Sativa also said its product range is on track to meet a March 2021 submission deadline for the UK Food Standard’s Agency’s (FSA’s) Novel Foods accreditation, which it said should now be “an easy transition” to the European FSA Novel Foods accreditation.


Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:ECO) has said it remains well placed to capitalise on its strategic acreage in prolific hydrocarbon provinces as it reported its half-year results, The explorer is preparing for its next well in Guyana, expected in the second half of 2021. The envisaged well programme is fully funded. Alongside partner Tullow Oil, the company is presently assessing options to drill at least two exploration wells in the light oil cretaceous targets as soon as practical.


Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) said it has raised its full-year expectations as a result of continued strong trading in the second half of the year. The provider of services to the computer games industry said it expects full-year adjusted profit before tax will be significantly ahead of the current market consensus. Revenue for 2020 is expected to be in line with market expectations of EUR367mln, up from EUR326.5mln, reflecting robust demand for the group’s services despite previously stated coronavirus (COVID-19) production constraints.


Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) produced 31% more vanadium in the third quarter of 2020 than the second, due to the lifting of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown in South Africa. More significantly, vanadium production was 37% higher across the nine months to end September 2020 than it was in the corresponding period a year ago, as the Vanchem processing assets were included for the full period. Vanadium sales were also higher. The company raised US$35mln in early November to help with expansion.


FastForward Innovations Limited (LON:FFWD) said its portfolio firm Yooma Corp, in which it holds a 10.65% interest, will launch a range of cannabidiol (CBD) beauty brands into the Chinese market. The AIM-listed investment firm noted an update from Yooma in which the hemp and CBD social commerce wellness group said it will launch its MASK Skincare and Lab to Beauty Brands on BorderX Lab’s China cross-border eCommerce app, Beyond.


Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) said it has raised GBP17.42mln from the sale of its holdings in Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS). The investment company received shares in Remote Monitored Systems (RMS) as consideration for the sale of its stake in corp nutrition specialist, Pharm2Farm. The intention initially was to hold the shares but some were sold to meet a funding requirement for one of Braveheart’s portfolio companies, Paraytec, while the rest were subsequently sold, as announced by Braveheart on November 18. In the last month, the price of RMS has risen from 0.875p to around 2.64p.


InnovaDerma PLC (LON:IDP) has announced that subject to shareholder approval, Simon Pyper will become a non-executive director of the company after its general meeting to be held on December 16, 2020, at 10.00am. The developer of beauty, personal care and life science products, said that Rodney Turner who has been a non-executive director of the group since September 2014 has chosen not to stand for re-election and will be stepping down from the board from the beginning of the general meeting. The company pointed out that Pyper has strong experience as an executive director of public companies and brings with him digital and marketing expertise, being formerly chief executive officer and chief financial officer of digital marketing group Be Heard Group PLC.


Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH), the contract research specialist, has appointed a new non-executive director. Elaine Sullivan will replace the departing Mark Warne as an independent member of the board. Currently chief executive Curadh Pharmaceuticals, she brings with her big company experience, having held senior R&D posts at Lilly and AstraZeneca, as well as an “in-depth background and knowledge” of virology.


Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO), a minerals exploration and development company, has announced the retirement of James Cable as a non-executive director of the company, effective on Tuesday. Commenting on the retirement, Alien’s chairman Dan Smith said: “James has been involved with the Company since its inception and has been a great resource to myself and the Board. We wish James well in his future endeavours.”


Nuformix PLC (LON:NFX) a drug re-purposing specialist has announced the appointment of Dr Julian Gilbert as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect. The company noted that Gilbert has more than 30 years of commercial and technical experience in the pharmaceutical industry gained at several companies including Chiroscience PLC, Mundipharma International Limited, British Technology Group PLC (BTG) and Smith Kline & French (now GlaxoSmithKline PLC). Most recently, he was co-founder and CEO of Acacia Pharma Group PLC raising around GBP100mln in private and public funding and leading its flotation on Euronext in 2018. Before Acacia, he was co-founder and commercial director of Arakis Limited which was sold to Sosei in 2005 for GBP107mln. Dr Chris Blackwell, Nuformix executive chairman, commented: “It’s a pleasure for us to welcome Julian to the Board. Julian’s knowledge and experience will be extremely valuable as the Company moves forward with its near-term strategic priorities focussed on business development and licensing opportunities.” The group said its board is also undertaking a search for an additional independent non-executive director with recent and relevant financial experience.


Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) said it is set to produce between 68,000 and 72,000 ounces of gold equivalent in the year to December 2020 from its operations in Azerbaijan. The number is lower than initial expectations, as some engineering staff were conscripted to participate in the recent conflict with Armenia. However, Anglo Asian noted that it is still on track to achieve sales of over US$100mln.


ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) is raising up to GBP15mln, which will be invested in an expanded study on its treatment for a degenerative eye disease and to deliver proof-of-concept data from its exosome collaborations. The new money will come in two tranches: A GBP13.9mln placing at 70p a share and a subscription offer of up to GBP1.1mln. The fundraiser extends the company’s cash runway by a further 18 months. In a separate statement, the research and development group announced interim results, which showed costs fell by GBP3.9mln to GBP7.9mln as it narrowed its remit to focus on its retinitis pigmentosa and exosomes programmes. The loss for the six months to September 30, 2020, was GBP7.1mln.


ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) (Euronext Growth Brussels:ALIMM), the specialist drug discovery and development company, announced that Lind Global Macro Fund, LP has converted $355,112.50 (plus accrued but unpaid interest) of the convertible security issued according to the convertible security deed dated June 10, 2020. The conversion price is 11p per share resulting in the issue by the company of 2,504,982 new ordinary shares of 10p each in the company. All of the convertible security issued to Lind has now been repaid or converted.


Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) said, after the close on Monday, that following the passing of a resolution at a general meeting it has acquired the remaining 20% interest in the Baita Plai polymetallic mine in Romania. The acquisition has been satisfied through the issue of over 2.8bn shares. Significant portions of these new shares have been issued to directors Roy Tucker and Andrew Prelea, as previously announced, and these are subject to a lock-up.


Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said it has received a notice to exercise warrants over 3,750,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each at an exercise price of 0.7p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of GBP26,250 have been received by Power Metal in respect of the exercise.


Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD) announced that its CEO Fady Khallouf, on November 20, 2020, purchased 95,000 ordinary shares of GBP0.03 each, in the capital of the company, on the London Stock Exchange at GBP0.025 each. Following the purchase, the group noted, Khallouf holds in total 8,337,031 shares representing 3.41% of the company.


Clipper Logistics PLC (LON:CLG), a leading provider of value-added logistics solutions and e-fulfilment to the retail sector, said it will announce its results for the six months ended October 31, 2020, on Thursday, December 3, 2020. The results will be presented via conference call for analysts only at 9.30am on the morning of the announcement, who should contact Buchanan at [email protected] if they would like to join.


Europa Metals Ltd. (LON:EUZ), the European focused lead-zinc and silver developer, has confirmed it will host a webinar today at 3.00pm GMT, for analysts and industry specialists, following the release on November 18, 2020, of the independent Preliminary Economic Study in respect of its wholly-owned Toral lead, zinc and silver, located in north-west Spain. The webinar will be hosted by Europa Metals, CEO, Laurence Read and its executive chairman, Myles Campion. To access the webinar please email: [email protected] no later than 1.00pm GMT today. The webinar will include a question and answer session following a presentation. A recording of the webinar will be made available on the company’s website at www.europametals.com following the event. A copy of the presentation is available at the following link: http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/2474G_1-2020-11-23.pdf

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