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HSS slides as it continues to negotiate rent cuts for closed branches

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HSS Hire Group PLC (LON:HSS) slipped 7.5% to `7.5p despite the tool hire group saying trading had continued to improve.

Revenue in April had been running at about half last year’s level but this was above 90% of last year’s level by the end of September and since then it has continued this momentum.

The retail group has reached an agreement in principle with landlords for a reduction in the rent on around 57% of the branches that have been closed since the pandemic got a grip in the UK.

3.35pm: Oracle jumps after acquiring two projects in Australia

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) rose 8.3% to 0.65p after it acquired two highly prospective gold projects in Western Australia.

The Northern Zone Project is located 25 kilometres east of the major gold mining centre of Kalgoorlie, and hosts multiple significant historical drill hits.

The Jundee East project is located about nine kilometres east of Northern Star’s Jundee gold mine, one of Australia’s largest gold mines

Rotala calms cash flow fears

2.40pm: Investors boarded the Rotala PLC (LON:ROL) bandwagon after the bus routes operator said passenger numbers steadily improved over the summer.

The shares rose 8.9% to 24.5p after the company said cash flow, both at the underlying earnings (EBITDA) level and net of all debt, interest and other payments, has been positive since the beginning of May and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.

The group’s historical normal annual fuel requirement is about 15.0 million litres. Given the current lows in fuel prices, the board has hedged 50% of the group’s normal fuel requirement for the 12 months ending 30 November 2022 at an average fuel price of around 87p per litre.

1.45pm: Provexis soars after signing Chinese distribution deal

Provexis PLC (LON:PXS) shares jumped40% to 1.05p after it signed a distribution agreement that will see its Fruitflow+ Omega-3 dietary supplement product distributed in China.

The food ingredient developer has hooked up with a company that will act as the distributor for Fruitflow+ Omega-3 in China, exclusively through the Chinese Cross-Border e-commerce (CBEC) channel.

CBEC regulations include a waiver of the existing Chinese pre-importation registration requirements on specified categories of products, permitting overseas exporters to sell consumer goods directly to Chinese consumers through certain registered e-commerce platforms.

CBEC regulations include a waiver of the existing Chinese pre-importation registration requirements on specified categories of products, permitting overseas exporters to sell consumer goods directly to Chinese consumers through certain registered e-commerce platforms.

12.55pm: BigDish parts company with its chief executive officer

It has been a terrible year for BigDish PLC (LON:DISH), thanks to its reliance on the restaurant trade, and thinks got worse on Monday.

The shares slumped 11% to 1.05p – they were riding as high at 4.6p in mid-February – after the technology company said Tom Sumner has stepped down as the chief executive officer (CEO) after discussions with an investor that is contemplating pumping money into the business.

A new CEO, experienced in technology-led sales in international markets will be sought as required.

11.50am: Moderna vaccine news takes more wind out of Novacyt’s sails

Novacyt SA (LON:NCYT), one of the glamour stocks of the first half of this year, continued its fall from the heavens after a research & development update.

Shares in the international specialist in clinical diagnostics fell 11% to 800p, although whether that was because of the update – which included a number of initiatives around tests for COVID-19 – or because of the announcement of another apparently effective COVID-19 vaccine nearing the end of the runway is hard to say.

READ Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective

“Novacyt continues to innovate in its response to the rapidly changing needs of the COVID-19 testing market. In particular, the launch of PROmate is expected to further improve the workflow efficiency of our near-patient testing system, enabling reduc ed operator complexity and faster cycle times for our market-leading PCR COVID-19 test. Not only do the additions to the portfolio broaden the company’s ability to support clinicians and laboratories through the pandemic, they also strengthen our position in infectious disease diagnostics as we continue to redefine our R&D pipeline for the next three years, in line with our long-term growth strategy,” said Graham Mullis, the chief executive officer of Novacyt.

10.55am: Tricorn bent out of shape after finding black holes in its accounts

Tricorn Group PLC (LON:TCN) lost just over a quarter of its value at 6p on the back of a warning about skeletons in the closet.

The tube manipulation specialist said various matters have come to light in the preparation of the group’s financial statements for the 18 month period ended 30 September 2020.

At this stage, a balance sheet exposure risk estimated at around £3.6mln has been identified. The £3.6mln balance sheet exposure risk excludes an inter-company imbalance of some £1.0mln that is still being investigated.

10.00am: Vodafone rises as management strikes confident note

Vodafone PLC (LON:VOD) rose 3.1% to 123.24p after its first-half performance proved to be less bad than expected.

The mobile phone networks operator said its revenues were affected by a drop in roaming income as coronavirus restrictions stopped people travelling.

Revenue in the six months to 30 September dropped by 2.3% to €21.4bn, with lower handset sales also taking a toll alongside the COVID-19 issues.

“There are good reasons why the share price has risen on the latest results, including management being more confident about the full-year target of achieving at least €5 billion free cash flow and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of €14.4-€14.6 billion,” said Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell.

9.00am: Lekoil slumps as its Nomad bails

Lekoil Limited (LON:LEK) plunged 44% to 1.25p after its nominated adviser (Nomad) tendered its resignation.

The oil and gas exploration and production company with a focus on Nigeria and West Africa is in negotiations with a new Nomad.

The Nomad’s resignation becomes effective at the end of this week. Under AIM’s rules, if a company has no Nomad then trading in its shares is suspended.

KEFI Gold and Copper plc (LON:KEFI) slid 5.0% to 1.7p after it placed shares to raise roughly £3mln.

The shares have been placed with new and existing shareholders at 1.6p a pop.

The fund raised will finance further resource drilling and exploration at the company’s Hawiah copper-gold project.

Proactive news headlines

Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) said its subsidiary, Pharm 2 Farm Limited (P2F) is anticipating excess demand for its antiviral face masks which may outstrip the production line capacity of 5mln masks per month. The AIM-listed firm said that to fulfil part of the expected excess demand, P2F will supply its patented filter material, initially, to certain partner mask manufacturers until it has procured its own additional production lines.

Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS) said its strategic research agreement with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has helped it achieve a major objective set at its 2018 IPO of growing its ‘anonymised’ database to over 5mln patient records. The latest tie-up pulls in 1.1mln unique records from a population of 600,000. In total, the company now has information for 5.6mln patients.

Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) said it has received confirmation from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to proceed with clinical testing for Project WAVE, a respiratory device it has designed for use in neonatal intensive care.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR), the specialist grocery site investor, has acquired a new site in at Beaumont Leys, Leicester from British Land and occupied by Tesco Extra and discount chain Aldi.

DeepVerge plc (LON:DVRG) said it has started deployment of its Microtox PD near-source wastewater contamination test equipment into water treatment plants in Ireland, with first shipments to China and the US expected by the end of the year. DeepVerge also said that it has agreed to license a patented breathalyser from PulMoBioMed, a spin-out technology company of Northumbria University, to capture coronavirus particles in breath condensate for the DeepVerge optofluidic breath test, known as Microtox BT.

Symphony Environmental Technologies PLC (LON:SYM) has announced the launch of a new reusable plastic bag product designed to keep climacteric fruit and vegetables – those that continue to ripen after being picked – fresher for longer. The SYMFresh ‘press’n’seal’ fruit and vegetable bags have been made with Symphony’s d2p ethylene adsorber technology, a microporous structure which adsorbs and traps the ethylene inside the film, delaying ripening and regulating moisture, to slow down the drying out process.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) said it has signed a management services agreement with Irish publishing brand Lovin’ Media following its acquisition by Greencastle Acquisition Limited. The media and technology firm said it will take over responsibility for all operational and strategic management of Lovin’s Media with immediate effect, and that it will be paid a monthly management fee of £10,000 plus external costs as well as 25% of all profits if certain revenue and profit targets are met.

Frontier IP Group (LON:FIPP) said one of its portfolio companies, Fieldwork Robotics, has received a £145,000 grant from the Sustainable Innovation Fund.

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) has acquired two highly prospective gold projects in Western Australia. The acquisition of the projects will be satisfied by a payment of £90,000 in cash and the issue of just under 43mln shares, with warrants at 1.1p attached. 

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) has completed the processing of a 100 ton bulk sample of perlite taken from its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada, USA. The company also updated on progress at other projects.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) is acquiring the Merolia gold project near Laverton, Western Australia, from White Cliff Minerals Ltd for cash and shares. Panther will pay A$112,500 in cash on the successful completion of a due diligence period, as well as 734,470 shares. 

Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE) told investors that the early production facility (EPF) at the West Rustavi oil and gas field is now ready to receive gas. It is now connected to the WR-16aZ and WR-38Z wells which presently remain shut-in until a gas sales line has been constructed and gas sales can begin.

TomCo Energy PLC (LON:TOM) has raised £3.5mln which is earmarked to progress plans of Greenfield Energy, the company’s joint ventures with Valkor LLC.

Stobart Group Ltd (LON:STOB) said Aer Lingus has opted not to make Stobart Air the preferred supplier for a new commercial agreement due to start in 2023. Stobart Air will continue to operate the Aer Lingus franchise until the end of 2022. 

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) said its joint-CEOs, Trevor Taylor and Antonio Russo, each has purchases 500,000 ordinary shares. Taylor and Russo now each hold 6.95mln ordinary shares, equivalent to roughly 3.57% of the company apiece.

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) has appointed Amanda Harsas as full time chief financial officer with immediate effect. Harsas, who will not sit on the board, has more than 20 years’ experience in strategic finance, business transformation, commercial finance, customer and supplier negotiations and capital management, working across several sectors=.

Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP) said it will host a webcast this Wednesday, ahead of its annual general meeting on December 3. Shareholders will have an opportunity to engage with the board for a general company update and discussion of the group annual results on November 18 at 9am UK time (11am SA time). 

Brickability Group Plc (LON:BRCK) said its chief financial officer, Stuart Overend, will be taking a leave of absence due to ill health.

Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA)(CVE:MKA) has highlighted the launch of a new website for Maginito Ltd (www.maginito.com), together with a new Maginito company presentation. Maginito is 75.5% owned by Mkango, which is completing a feasibility study for the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi, and 24.5% owned by Talaxis Ltd, which is focused on investment in and development of technology metal opportunities.
 

TomCo Energy raises £3.5mln in placing to fund Greenfield joint venture

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