Kingfisher still taking bashing from Thursday’s statement

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Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) lost 5% to 356.8p as it was still taking a bashing from Thursday’s first-quarter trading statement that was not quite strong enough to keep the share price momentum going.

Like-for-like (LFL) sales in the three months ended April 30 were up 64.2% year-on-year, with a strong performance in the UK and France, despite COVID-related restrictions affecting its French outlets through most of the quarter.

The company raised the LFL sales outlook for the first half of the current fiscal year, with the company now expecting the growth rate to be in the mid-to-high teens, up from previous expectations of a low double-digit percentage increase. Guidance for the second half of the financial year has been left unchanged.

2.20pm: Shield Therapeutics higher on Accrufer update

Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX) rose 4% to 60.08p in the early afternoon after stating it remains on track to launch Accrufer, its iron deficiency treatment, in the US by the end of next month.

The commercial-stage pharmaceutical company said that since it tapped the market in March, preparatory work on the launch has accelerated dramatically.

In an update on its US preparations, the company said it has established a US subsidiary and set up the necessary operating essentials for the launch. Work is in progress on the product supply chain and logistics and all being well, launch stocks should be in its US wholesaler’s warehouses by mid-June. Agreements have been signed with providers for product warehousing and distribution.

1.15pm: MobilityOne climbs after receiving MasterCard licence

Mobilityone Limited (LON:MBO) climbed 39% to 37.5p after receiving a licence to issue MasterCard prepaid cards in Malaysia.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a provider of secure financial messaging services, has permitted also MobilityOne Malaysia to join its network.

The e-commerce infrastructure payment solutions and platform provider said it will generate revenue from the sale of prepaid cards, the percentage of commissions for the transactions via the prepaid cards and from potential e-wallet white label hosting arrangements.

12pm: Novacyt slips after update on UK government dispute

Novacyt S.A. (LON:NCYT) slipped 14% to 362p at lunchtime after announcing that a dispute with the UK government may have a material impact on first-quarter revenues.

Last month, the diagnostics firm announced that it was in dispute with the Department of Health and Social Care in relation to its second supply contract and that this may have a material impact on revenues for the fourth quarter of 2020.

It was also noted that around half of first-quarter revenue was driven by sales to the DHSC. The AIM-listed firm said it has taken legal advice in relation to the dispute and believes it has strong grounds to assert its contractual rights.

11am: Biffa on the rise thanks to Viridor acquisition 

Biffa PLC (LON:BIFF) surged 7% to 296.5p after agreeing to buy the waste collections business and some recycling assets from Viridor Waste Management Ltd for £126mln.

This acquisition expands its collections business and recycling capabilities, said Biffa in a statement, while “solidifying its leading position in UK sustainable waste management”.

Viridor generated revenues of £85mln in 2020 stemming mostly from bin collections for local councils with a further £39mln from waste recycling and treatment facilities.

10am: Staffline drops after proposing placing to cut debt

Staffline Group PLC (LON:STAF) dropped 17% to 58.4p in mid-morning after proposing a placing and subscription to cut debt and provide working capital for growth.

The recruiter looks to place 87mln new shares at 50p a pop, a 29% discount to Thursday’s closing price.

The firm said that the momentum in the second half of 2020 continued into 2021 so it made a strong start to the year, with revenue and underlying operating profit ahead of expectations for the first quarter despite lockdowns.

Meanwhile, Card Factory PLC (LON:CARD) tumbled 15% to 73.4p after announcing that store revenue was “marginally” down since lockdown was lifted last month, compared with the same period in 2019.

The greeting cards retailer said trading topped both expectations and the performance after the previous two lockdowns.

Increased spend per transaction has offset lower footfall as customers are shopping less frequently but buying more.

9am: Physiomics rises early after contract awards

Physiomics PLC (LON:PYC) was an early riser on Friday, adding 8% to 6.55p after being awarded two further contracts by existing client Bicycle Therapeutics.

The projects, to be completed over the next six months, relate to two of Bicycle’s lead clinical assets and build on earlier work completed by Physiomics on these assets.

Physiomics is a consultancy that uses mathematical models to support the development of drug treatment regimens.

Elsewhere, Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS) edged 3% higher to 158.5p on the back of a strategic research agreement with an American healthcare provider.

The tie-up with St Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania will provide it with access 2.5mln anonymised patient records.

In return for providing Sensyne access to the material, St Luke’s will receive 115,541 shares along with 346,621 warrants that allow it to invest at a certain price at a later date.

Proactive news headlines

Grow Group Plc said late on Thursday that it has extended a strategic relationship with Canadian firm Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) by signing a two-year market access services agreement for the UK following an initial agreement in 2019.

Alpha Financial Markets Consulting PLC (LON:AFM) has raised £31mln by issuing shares at 325p a throw to part-finance an acquisition.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) (FRA:W1D) has been granted a trading halt by the ASX with an announcement pending in regard to a potential capital raising.

Bacanora Lithium PLC (LON:BCN) has updated investors on site activities at its Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI) said an investee company will share additional data that will underline the potential efficacy of a breakthrough cancer immunotherapy.

Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS), which uses AI technology to ethically use mass patient data to support medical research, has signed strategic research agreement with an American healthcare provider.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it has appointed Hugo Drayton, the former group managing director of the Telegraph Group, to its board as a non-executive director (NED) with immediate effect.

Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX) said it remains on track to launch Accrufer, its iron deficiency treatment, in the US by the end of next month.

Induction Healthcare PLC (LON: INHC) has outlined plans to make a transformational acquisition backed by a £25mln placing of new shares.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) said the expansion project at Kareevlei remains on track to be commissioned in July, with around 80% of the work completed. Following a full review of the project and its costings the upfront capital and development costs have increased. The company also announced a further cash injection, of £1.61mln, from the Teichmann Group.

Challenger Energy Group PLC (LON:CEG) has changed its name from Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC following the passing of all resolutions at an extraordinary general meeting on May 17.

Pan African Resources PLC (LON:PAF) has increased its production guidance to 195,000 ounces of gold for the twelve months ending June 30.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc (LON:SWEL) said it has raised US$4.6mln after closing the second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement, meaning a total of 58,590,287 units have been issued at a price of $0.07875 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share in the capital of the Company and one-half share purchase warrant, with each warrant entitling the holder to purchase one common share in the capital of the company at a price of $0.105 apiece until May 20, 2023. 

Diversified Energy Company PLC (LON:DEC) confirmed it has raised US$225mln in a placing and retail offer as it advances its latest acquisition.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) told investors it has received a favourable ruling from the Upper-Tier Tax Tribunal which upheld a prior decision, from July 2019, and has dismissed an appeal by HMRC.

Emmerson PLC (LON:EML) notified investors that chief executive Graham Clarke and two directors will provide a live presentation for existing and potential shareholders via the Investor Meet Company platform on 25 May 2021 at 12.30pm BST, discussing the company’s annual financial statements and provide detail on plans for the rest of 2021.

88 Energy Limited (ASX:88E, LON:88E) confirmed that its latest corporate presentation will be available on its website.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA, LON:TILS)  has been notified that Panetta Partners Limited, an entity in which executive chairman Gabriele Cerrone has a beneficial interest, bought 10,000 shares in the market at a price of 71p per share. The acquisition takes Cerrone’s interests from 34.070% to 34.075%, within the 1% incremental threshold of the UK Takeover Code).

Helium One Global Ltd (LON:HE1) has received notices to exercise warrants over a total of 2,482,394 ordinary shares, for which funds of £70,499.99 have been received by the company.
 
e-therapeutics plc (LON:ETX) has posted its annual report and accounts for the past financial year ahead of its 2021 annual general meeting on 16 June in Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire. Shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM in person but are encouraged to complete proxy forms appointing the chair of the meeting as their proxy so that they can be represented.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) said it is posting a circular in relation to a general meeting that will be held on 15 June 2021 at 2pm in London. It will be available to view on the company’s website.

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