Catalist Partners, a 10.48% shareholder in the estate agency group, called for Countrywide to consolidate its 50-plus brands and around 700 branches, end end reliance on third party software, and deleverage by releasing capital from non-core businesses.
A letter from Catalist’s Robin Paterson, which was printed in full in the EstateAgentToday website, concluded that, “as time is of the essence, should we be unable to reach consensus with you, we reserve our rights to pursue all options available to us as a significant shareholder”.
2.30pm: Rurelec shares triple in matter of hours – even before share reorganisation
After its share price boomed from last night’s 0.6p close to a high of 1.97p, dizzying heights not seen since 2015, the Latin American-focused power generation outfit chose to repeat some of the highlights from its most recent results, including that it has “started to benefit from being on a more secure financial footing” and that last year saw “a marked improvement in the group’s liquidity position”.
The AIM-listed group also noted that it will soon complete its capital reorganisation plan, which it said at the time of results “will put the company in a position where it can lawfully pay dividends out of distributable reserves or…buy-back ordinary shares in the future”.
11.05am: Tracsis pulls out of skid as coronavirus impact less than feared
In a year-end update, the AIM 100 company said its revenues are expected to be around £48mln, down around 2%, and that underlying profit (EBITDA) margins were only slightly lower than the previous year.
Despite clients cancelling and postponing projects within the Traffic & Data arm, new work was won during the pandemic, with a strong performance for the Compass Informatics location technologies arm.
Having been on the slide since early June, the shares were up 12% to 646p by late morning.
10.10am: Hummingbird caught in crossfire of Mali military coup
Hummingbird Resources PLC (LON:HUM) shares have retreated after investors worried about the potential impact of the military coup in Mali, where President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been forced to step down and dissolve parliament in Bamako.
The AIM-listed gold miner, which has been operating in the west African state for five years, said there “has been no current impact” on its operations and production at the Yanfolila mine, which is located around 280km from the capital.
Hummingbird pointed out that it has a security team, which “is in regular contact with the operational and management team regarding the ongoing safety of Hummingbird’s staff, operations and assets”.
Shares in the company were down 13% to below 30p in early trading but have recovered to 31.84p by mid morning.
9.05am: Sureserve surges after revealing sustainable dividend plans
Sureserve Group Plc (LON:SUR) shares made a sure-footed start on Wednesday morning, spiking 12% higher to 47.08p after the compliance and energy services group said it was considering returning to the dividend list.
The company, formerly known as Lakehouse, said it has strengthened both bidding teams in anticipation of further work after winning 21 new contracts since May’s results, with an annualised value of £16mln.
“The strong trading performance of the group in the last 12 months has enabled the board to consider a sustainable dividend policy, which is more than adequately covered by significant earnings per share and regular recurring cash flows,” said chairman Bob Holt in a trading update
Since giving an update a month ago, the fully-listed company said its performance has continued to improve and it now expects a full-year adjusted operating profit of “at least £18mln to at least £23mln”, up from earlier guidance that profits would be above £18mln.
Telford-based Luceco attributed the improvement to its continued out-perform of the UK market “as a result of our higher share of online / multi-channel capable customers and consumer/DIY markets, where demand has been robust”.
Proactive news headlines:
World High Life PLC (AQSE:LIFE) (OTCQB:WRHLF) told investors it has seen sales growth of 57% in the month of July, compared to June. The owner of London-based CBD brand, Love Hemp, said sales improved in all channels – online, retail, and wholesale – and it highlighted that online sales specifically are significantly higher than pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels. The online channel represented up some 62% of sales in July, versus around 40% in January.
Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) has signed a new contract with its partner Brick Live Lab Limited in Korea for an Animal Paradise Mini event. The owner of the BRICKLIVE event brand said the deal has been completed on a joint venture basis as part of a longer-term initiative, with models included in the contract to stay in Korea to build up the business further going forward.
Emmerson PLC (LON:EML), the Moroccan focused potash development company, announced that it has appointed Shore Capital to act as corporate broker to the company with immediate effect. Graham Clarke, CEO of Emmerson, commented: “We are delighted with the appointment of Shore Capital during this pivotal time in the Company’s development. The experience and track record of Shore Capital will assist us in taking the project forward and ultimately realise its exceptional potential. We look forward to working with the team from Shore Capital to deliver the best value for all stakeholders.”
Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) said it has initiated the second part of a phase II trial designed to assess the potential of its lead drug ensifentrine used in a pressurised metered-dose inhaler (pMDI). Results from the multi-dose assessment are expected in the first half of 2021. Thirty people with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who took part in the first part of the trial will participate in this second stage.
IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) has highlighted more high-grade intersections in additional results received from a second phase drilling programme at its Zaranou gold project in Côte d’Ivoire. The AIM-listed firm said it has received “additional high-grade and broad low-grade” results from drilling at the Ehuasso main target, while composite results received for reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the target confirmed continuity of mineralisation within the spaced drill grid. IronRidge said the second phase drilling programme has now been completed, while assays are currently pending for the remaining RC drill holes at the Ehuasso target as well as reconnaissance air core drilling at the Ebilassokro target.
Adamas Finance Asia Limited (LON:ADAM), the London quoted pan-Asian diversified investment vehicle focused on providing shareholders with attractive uncorrelated, risk-adjusted long-term returns, has announced the appointment of John Batchelor as a non-executive director of the company with effect from August 14, 2020. Batchelor is Co-Lead of Asia and Head of the Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment in Asia at FTI Consulting and is based in Hong Kong. He has more than 18 years of experience in restructuring, corporate recovery and transaction advisory. ADAM’s chairman, John Croft, commented: “On behalf of the Board, we are delighted to welcome John Batchelor. John is representing ADAM’s largest shareholder on the board which shows a greater engagement with our shareholders. He has extensive experience across the APAC region working with premier financial services companies.”
Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) told investors that its Turkish subsidiary, Stratex Madencilik has continued to trade profitably during 2020. Cashflow in the year to date amount to around £162,000, generated from Turkish consultancy work, and the company highlighted that it exceeds the business’s G&A expenses for the period. “We are extremely pleased to see our Turkish entity continuing to be financially self-sufficient, enabling the repayment of significant inherited employment liabilities whilst still generating net cash inflows,” Tim Livesey, chief executive said in a statement.
OKYO Pharma Limited (LON:OKYO) said Dr Napoleone Ferrara, an award-winning scientist who helped invent two blockbuster drugs, has joined its scientific advisory board. Ferrara, currently a professor at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, made pivotal contributions to the discovery of cancer drug Avastin and Lucentis, for an eye condition called macular degeneration. Last year the two products netted sales of more than US$9bn worldwide.
Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) has completed its acquisition of the Acacia Exploration (AEKL) Kenyan gold assets from Barrick Gold. It follows the receipt of regulatory approvals in Kenya, which now satisfied all remaining closing conditions of the transaction. The primary asset is the West Kenya project, which has a resource currently pegged at just under 1.2mln ounces. With a grade of 12.6 grams per tonne, the project has been described as ‘the highest grade million ounce-plus project under development anywhere in Africa’.
Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) has raised £2mln via a share placing to fund the completion of key components of a pre-feasibility study for the Toral lead-zinc-silver project. Toral, located in the Castilla y León region of northern Spain, is the company’s flagship asset and represents an opportunity to deliver a robust European mining operation. The share placing sees some 15.68mln new shares issued at a price of 12.75p each, with 15.52mln of the shares being sold to existing and new investors by broker Turner Pope Investments and 156,862 shares taken up by the company’s directors.
Alpha Growth PLC (LON: ALGW), the US-focused life policy investor, is raising £500,000 to fund the development of its strategy. Shares equivalent to 17.4% of the capital prior to the issue were placed at 1.4p, a 17.6% discount to last night’s close. Pello Capital handled the placing and has been appointed as Alpha Growth’s broker.
Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN), a leading esports and gaming solutions provider, announced that it has received a warrant exercise notice in respect of 8,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each in the capital of the company with an exercise price of 1p each, providing the company with proceeds of £80,000.
Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company announced that it has received a notice to exercise warrants over 1,600,000 new ordinary shares in the company. The warrant shares are being issued at 1.0p per share and subscription monies of £16,000 have been received by Power Metal in respect of the exercise.
Premier African Minerals Limited LON:PREM) has announced that investors D-Beta One EQ, Ltd, YA II PN, Ltd and Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC Limited elected on August 17, 2020, to convert a further US$50,000 of their investment plus accrued interest of US$312.33, amounting to US$50,312.33 (£38,388.31) in aggregate, in accordance with the terms of the Investment Agreement as announced on May 7, 2020, into new ordinary shares in the company. The group has therefore issued 62,450,479 new ordinary shares to the Investors at an issue price of 0.0614p each, the issue price being 9% of the lowest daily volume-weighted average price during the five days trading days immediately prior to the repayment.
Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO), the developer of next-generation proton therapy systems for cancer treatment, has announced that Dr Michael Sinclair, its executive chairman, has purchased a total of 145,000 ordinary shares of 25p each in the company at an average price of 32.18p each. Following these purchases, Dr Sinclair has a total beneficial interest in 8,280,604 ordinary shares, equivalent to 2.70% of the company’s issued share capital.
Base Resources Limited (LON:BSE) (ASX:BSE), the African mineral sands producer and developer has said it will host two investor and shareholder webcasts to discuss the company’s FY20 full-year results which are scheduled for release on Monday, August 24, 2020. It said Base Resources’ Managing Director, Tim Carstens, CFO, Kevin Balloch and GM Marketing, Stephen Hay, will be available to answer questions following a summary of the results. Participants will be able to ask questions via the messaging function on the webcast platform or via the teleconference line, as detailed. Asia Pacific conference call on Monday, August 24, 2020, at 9.00am AWST / 11.00am AEST; Webcast URL: https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/zdbceiq9; Teleconference registration URL: https://s1.c-conf.com/diamondpass/10009484-invite.html. Europe conference call on Monday, August 24, 2020, at 4.00pm AWST / 9.00am BST; Webcast URL: https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/z6sqt7r2; Teleconference registration URL: https://s1.c-conf.com/diamondpass/10009485-invite.html.
Capital Limited (LON:CAPD), a leading mining services company focused on the African markets, has said it will report its half-year results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, on Thursday, August 20, 2020. The company will be hosting a live webcast presentation at 9:00am BST on the day of the results, where questions can be submitted through the platform. The webcast presentation link: https://webcasting.buchanan.uk.com/broadcast/5f33fd15b14d872626436e41. A recording of the webcast will be available on the company website following the presentation.
Inspired Energy PLC (LON:INSE), the leading consultant for energy procurement, utility cost optimisation and legislative compliance in the UK and Ireland , has said it will announce its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, on September 9, 2020. An analyst briefing call will be held at 11.00am on the morning of results and those analysts wishing to join the presentation can register for details via [email protected].