Source - Alliance News

The following is a round-up of updates by London-listed companies, issued on Thursday and not separately reported by Alliance News:

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Victorian Plumbing Group PLC - Skelmersdale, Lancashire-based bathroom products retailer - Says recent trading has been encouraging against ‘lower customer demand’, with sales for four months to January 31 down 3% year-on-year but up 38% on two years ago. Expects to return to ‘modest’ growth through the second half, though cautions on margins. ‘We are acutely aware that our customers are also managing inflationary pressures and will adopt a careful approach to price rises, which means we are choosing to temporarily absorb some additional costs. We therefore expect both gross profit margin and adjusted Ebitda margin to be slightly lower than previously anticipated,’ firm says.

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Amigo Holdings PLC - Bournemouth, England-based guarantor loan provider - Revenue for nine months to end of December £75.7 million, down 45% from £137.5 million a year before. Number of customers also down 45%, to 86,000. However, swings to pretax profit of £1.6 million from loss of £81.3 million. Continues to pursue scheme of arrange to address historic lending complaints liability. Says court convening hearing to take place on March 8 and court sanction hearing on May 23 and 24. ‘If we can secure the New Business Scheme and return to lending, then I am confident we can move forward with a new business model that meets strong demand in the market. Amigo has the management expertise and is building the infrastructure, policies and procedures required to be a responsible and valuable contributor to the non-standard finance space,’ says Chief Executive Gary Jennison.

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Ricardo PLC - West Sussex-based engineering and environmental consultancy - Revenue for half-year ended December 31 rises 13% to £185.5 million from £164.7 million. Swings to pretax profit of £4.7 million from loss of £2.1 million year-on-year. Says order intake ‘strong’ at £210.6 million, up 16%. Declares interim dividend of 2.91p, up 66% on 1.75p a year before. ‘The group enters the second half of the year with a good level of orders and pipeline of opportunities and solid momentum in all segments. As we enter our seasonally stronger second half, whilst some economic uncertainty remains, we are cautiously optimistic to deliver on our full year expectations for revenue and underlying PBT,’ company says.

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Conduit Holdings Ltd - Bermuda-based insurance company - Gross premiums written $378.8 million in 2021, with net premiums written $346.2 million. Total net revenue $190.6 million. Total loss for period $42.0 million, widened from $4.6 million the year before. Firm floated in London in December 2020, beginning first year of underwriting at start of 2021. Says on track to deliver on five-year business plan. ‘Market conditions are attractive and we are anticipating further rate hardening during 2022. Our CEO Trevor Carvey and his team have achieved a huge amount in our first year of operations and built a well-balanced underwriting portfolio. As we enter our second year, our January 2022 premiums were ahead of management expectations,’ says Executive Chair Neil Eckert. Final dividend of UD0.18 takes full-year payout to $0.36.

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Macfarlane Group PLC - Glasgow-based packaging and label company - Revenue for 2021 grows 26% to £264.5 million from £210.2 million in 2020, with pretax profit rising to £18.7 million from £12.4 million. Says it achieved good sales growth in 2021, benefiting from the ongoing structural shift to e-commerce retail, the recovery in certain industrial sectors which had been affected by Covid-19 in 2020 and the acquisitions of GWP and Carters Packaging. Profit strong despite ‘ongoing difficult operating conditions due to Covid-19, significant inflationary pressure on input costs and supply shortages of some materials’. Expects to see ongoing cost pressures in 2022, but says trading in early months of year has been encouraging.

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Tremor International Ltd - Tel Aviv-based video and connected TV advertising technology - Revenue for 2021 grows to $341.9 million from $211.9 million in 2020, and firm swings to pretax profit of $72.3 million from loss of $7.4 million. Contribution excluding traffic acquisition costs for year $302.0 million, up 64% organically. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2021 jumps to $161.2 million from $60.5 million. Has authorised share buyback programme worth up to $75 million. For first quarter of 2021, expects contribution ex-TAC of at least $73 million and adjusted Ebitda of $33 million.

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Resolute Mining Ltd - Perth, Australia-based gold miner with projects in Mali, Senegal and Guinea - Revenue for 2021 falls to $549.2 million from $603.0 million in 2020, and company swings to pretax loss of $303.0 million from profit of $59.3 million. While revenue declines, cost of sales rise. Is further knocked by $227.5 million impairment expenses, with no such charge taken the year before. Notes strong finish to year, with December production the highest of 2021.

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abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust PLC - invests in UK-quoted smaller companies - Net asset value total return for six months to December 31 is 12%, outperforming reference index which returns 3.1%. NAV per share 824.09p at December 31, up 12% from 737.97p at end of June. ‘The board has noted the fall in the share price and the NAV per share since the end of the period, each by more than 19%. This is evidence of the significant and severe rotation that we have seen in the market where investors have been moving out of quality and growth stocks and into value,’ company adds, adding that this phase in cycle should ‘not be long lasting’.

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abrdn China Investment Company Ltd - invests predominantly in Chinese equities - Net asset value per share grows to 813.2p at end of 2021 from 698.3p a year before. NAV total return 19.8%, comparing favourably with a blended reference index total return of 10.7%. ‘The Chinese Equities team has now been running the portfolio for almost four months and I am delighted to report that the portfolio has got off to a good start, outperforming the investment trust sector average in that time, albeit in testing times, particularly since the start of 2022,’ company says. Firm’s investment policy was changed following shareholder approval at meeting in October, and in November firm completed combination with Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust PLC.

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Skillcast Group PLC - London-based e-learning software and content - Expects 2021 revenue to be not less than £8.3 million, up from £7.3 million in 2020, and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of at least £1.1 million, dipping slightly from £1.2 million the year before. Says annualised recurring revenue up 29% to £5.8 million in December 2021. ‘The group’s earnings were supported by an increase in professional services revenue late in the year. This revenue typically fluctuates and, although it declined in the first half of the year due to Covid-19 lockdowns, the full year professional services revenue is expected to be not less than £3.1 million,’ company says.

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itim Group PLC - technology company based in London - Says revenue in 2021 in line with expectations at around £13.4 million, up 14% on the year before. Ebitda, excluding IPO costs, to top market expectations at £2.1 million, representing growth in excess of 40% on the year before. ‘I am delighted with itim’s performance throughout 2021 and the future growth opportunities we see in front of us. This underpins our confidence in our new customer pipeline to enable us to deliver a near doubling of our ARR by 2024 through organic growth,’ says Chief Executive Ali Athar.

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Regional REIT Ltd - London-based real estate investment trust - Reports ‘significant’ increase in portfolio valuation to £906.1 million at end of December from £732.4 million a year before, following £236.0 million acquisition made in third quarter. Like-for-like, portfolio value rises 1.1%. As at February 16, first quarter 2021 rent collection stands at 99.3%, second quarter at 99.5% and third quarter at 99.1%. Fourth quarter rent collection stands at 96.6%, in line with the same time in 2020. For 2021 as a whole, total rent collection 98.6% compared with 97.7% at same time year before. Will pay dividend of 1.70p for fourth quarter, which amounts to total payout of 6.5p for 2021.

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Arcontech Group PLC - real-time financial market data product and service provider - Revenue for six months to December 31 falls slightly to £1.45 million from £1.54 million, and pretax profit declines to £428,924 from £506,237. Says fall in revenue due to ‘challenging trading environment’, with profit was hit by this as well as higher investment in sales and lower exceptional profit. Says full-year profit to be in line with revised market expectations. ‘The board is confident that we remain well placed to return to growth as the market returns to pre-pandemic normality. Our desktop products and our server-side business are well embedded in our customer base, our business remains robust with good profitability and we believe the work our sales team is doing will produce future growth,’ says Chair Geoff Wicks.

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Aptamer Group PLC - York-based provider of custom services, diagnostics and therapeutics for biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms - Says sales in six months to end of December increase to £1.4 million from £485,000 year-on-year, as expected, and full-year results to be in line with board expectations. ‘The second half of the year has started well, and the Group continues to build momentum across the business with new agreements in each of the business units, further demonstrating the power and diverse applicability of the Optimer platform,’ says Chief Executive Arron Tolley.

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Trifast PLC - Uckfield, England-based industrial fastenings firm - Says monthly sales show ‘consistent’ year-on-year growth in three months to December 31, even as set against the record trading recovery levels seen a year before. ‘Supply chain challenges remain and although raw material and freight costs, as well as lead times, are now stabilising across most of the world, these continue to stand at historically high levels. As a result of these ongoing challenges, the business has continued to invest in inventory levels in HY2, to ensure reliability of supply. This uplift is expected to reverse as the macroenvironment settles,’ says Trifast. Full-year outlook unchanged.

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Riverstone Energy Ltd - Guernsey-based investor in energy companies and assets - Net asset value per share $12.41, doubled on a year ago. ‘Hammerhead, Centennial, GoodLeap, Onyx and Carrier II were the largest drivers of REL’s NAV improvement over the period,’ it says. To recommence its £40.0 million open market share buyback programme, noting there is £4 million left remaining of total authorised amount. ‘Looking forward, the opportunities offered by the scale of the investment required to support the energy transition continue to be attractive and our focus remains on identifying value accretive investments for our portfolio and on executing our strategy,’ says Chair Richard Hayden.

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