Source - Alliance News

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

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Sabre Insurance Group PLC - Surrey, England-based motor insurance underwriter - Gross written premium in 2021 falls to £169.3 million from £173.2 million in 2020 and pretax profit declines to £37.2 million from £49.1 million. Says it maintained disciplined approach to pricing throughout the year, with rate increases in-line with, or ahead of, expected claims costs. ‘After several years of gritting our teeth and sticking rigorously to our 'profitability over volume' strategy, our discipline is paying off, we have turned the page as we enter 2022, and are now entering a far more exciting chapter,’ says Chief Executive Geoff Carter. Says it has seen seen positive premium momentum coming into 2022 and has been able to apply ‘significant’ price increases. ‘We would therefore anticipate significant year-on-year gross written premium growth whilst continuing to deliver a COR towards the upper end of our target COR range,’ firm says. Dividend for 2021 falls to 13.0p from 16.0p in 2020.

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MP Evans Group PLC - producer of palm oil in Indonesia - Revenue for 2021 rises to $276.6 million from $174.5 million in 2020, while pretax profit jumps to $112.5 million from $28.4 million. ‘2021 has been an excellent year for the group. Crop and production have risen further in line with our long-term strategic plans, whilst the palm-oil market has gone from strength to strength,’ says Executive Chair Peter Hadsley-Chaplin. Recommends final dividend of 25p, taking total ordinary payout for year to 35p and, in addition, firm paid a dividend 5p dividend in February. ‘The board intends, wherever possible, to continue the group's long-term trend of increasing dividends, which have accelerated in recent years. The board believes that the projected increases in both crop and production form a sound basis for further dividend increases,’ it says.

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ScS Group PLC - Sunderland-based retailer of furniture and flooring - Revenue for half-year to January 29 declines 16% to £145.9 million from £173.9 million, with result slightly behind the £152.0 million generated two years ago in a pre-pandemic period. Firm swings to pretax loss of £3.6 million in the half from profit of £17.7 million year-on-year. ‘During the period increased lead times for product due to supply chain disruption impacted delivered gross sales, revenue and profitability but has enabled the group to build a strong order book. This supports the group's expectation of delivering profitable full year results in line with market expectations,’ firm says. Raises interim dividend by 50% to 4.5 and declares share buyback of up to £7 million.

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Yu Group PLC - Nottingham, England-based energy supplier - Revenue for 2021 grows to £155.4 million from £101.5 million in 2020, and swings to pretax profit of £3.4 million from loss of £1.5 million. ‘2021 was a remarkable year and a stellar performance that's seen the group outperform forecasts in terms of profitability, growth and forward looking contracted revenue,’ says Chief Executive Bobby Kalar. Looking out, firm has ‘significant confidence’ in high revenue growth based on increased forward contract book. ‘Despite turbulence in the wider external market, we remain strong and focussed on delivering continued profitable and controlled growth,’ firm adds.

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YouGov PLC - London-based research and data analytics company - Revenue for six months to the end of January £101.2 million, up 28% on £79.0 million a year before. Pretax profit rises 18% to £9.2 million from £7.8 million. Data Products revenue increases by 31%, Data Services revenue up by 9% and Custom Research revenue up by 39%. ‘YouGov delivered a record performance in the first half of the current financial year. In addition to accelerated and broad-based growth, we achieved sustained profitability and strong cash generation as we continued to focus on driving long-term shareholder value in line with our strategy,’ says Chief Executive Stephan Shakespeare. Firm adds that second half has started well and current trading remains slightly ahead of board expectations for full-year.

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Accesso Technology Group PLC - Berkshire, England-based provider of software for leisure, entertainment and cultural sectors - Says 2021 performance was ‘simply outstanding’ as revenue jumps to $124.8 million from $56.1 million in 2020, and swings to pretax profit of $12.1 million from loss of $32.9 million. ‘We delivered record revenue and record profit during another challenging year in our end markets as they continued to recover at varying levels through the year,’ says Chief Executive Steve Brown. Says 2022 has started strongly with trading volumes in January and February encouraging. Is ‘cautiously optimistic’ on another year of good progress, though does warn that cost base expected to increase as it returns to normal staffing levels.

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Kape Technologies PLC - Isle of Man-based digital security and privacy software provider - Revenue for 2021 exceeds management forecasts, rising 89% to $230.7 million from $122.2 million in 2020. Pretax profit jumps to $32.6 million from $7.3 million. ‘In 2021, we achieved record customer growth, providing further evidence that our products remain both compelling and highly innovative, and, more importantly, our customers continue to utilise our services for many years,’ says Chief Executive Ido Erlichman. Says firm has continued this momentum into 2022 and is positive on prospects. Is confident of achieving forecasts announced at time of ExpressVPN acquisition of 2022 revenue of between $610 million and USD 624 million and pro forma adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of between $166 million and $172 million. ‘The significant progress that was delivered during 2021 has provided Kape with the solid foundations to further extend our reach across the digital privacy and security market in 2022 and beyond,’ company says.

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Real Estate Investors PLC - Midlands, UK-focused real estate investment trust - Revenue for 2021 dips to £16.0 million from £16.4 million, though firm swings to pretax profit of £13.9 million from loss of £20.2 million in 2020. Firm boosted by £5.0 million gain on change in fair value of investment properties, versus hit of £27.9 million the year before. EPRA net tangible assets stand at 58.8p at end of 2021, up from 55.2p at end of 2020. Dividend for year is 3.0625p, up 2.1%.

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Online Blockchain PLC - Ongar, England-based blockchain research and development company - Revenue for six months to end of December £24,000, down from £56,000 a year before. Pretax loss widens to £468,000 from £76,000. Says ADVFN PLC is performing well, with revenue flat at £4.2 million in the period. ‘As you may have seen, I have stepped down as a director of ADVFN PLC which remains an important investment of Online Blockchain PLC. It is clear that subsequent to ongoing corporate activity around ADVFN, that ADVFN will experience an accelerate pace of change which we will work hard to ensure is positive,’ says Chief Executive Clement Chambers. Chambers co-founded ADVFN alongside Chair Michael Hodges.

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Schroder British Opportunities Trust PLC - provides fresh equity capital to growing small to mid-sized British businesses - Net asset value per share 112.72p at end of 2021, up from 108.44p at June 30. Says this growth of 3.9% in the period was marginally behind its declared total return target of 10% per annum, although it remains ahead of this target in the period since IPO in December 2020 with an annualised return of 13.7%.

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Harworth Group PLC - Rotherham, South Yorkshire-based land regenerator - EPRA net disposal value per share 197.6p at end of 2021, up from 160.0p a year before. Total return for year 24.6%, which firm notes is its highest figure to date, after return of 3.0% in 2020. Total dividend for year 1.212p, representing 10% underlying growth from 2020. In 2020 firm paid out 1.8p as dividend, but notes that the 2020 final dividend was increased to reflect the cancelled final 2019 dividend. ‘Our core sectors continue to perform well, but are not immune to wider macroeconomic pressures. Our focus now is on the execution of the strategy, ensuring that, as we work through our plans, the team has the skills and resources to deliver consistently and successfully, sustainably growing the business and delivering returns through the cycle,’ says Chief Executive Lynda Shillaw.

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Pebble Group PLC - Manchester-based technology and services for promotional products industry - Revenue for 2021 rises to £115.1 million from £82.4 million in 2020, surpassing 2019's figure of £107.2 million. Pretax profit jumps to £9.3 million from £5.0 in 2020. ‘Facilisgroup and Brand Addition performed well in the year under review, both financially and in building their differentiation in the market,’ company says. Adds that new financial year has started well and in line with its expectations.

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BioPharma Credit PLC - life sciences debt investment trust - Net asset value per share at December 31 99.26 cents, down from 100.37 cents a year before. Pays dividend of 7.29 cents per share in period, ahead of its 7 cent target. ‘Despite turbulent market conditions our highly resilient business model continued to deliver revenue as expected being uncorrelated from equity market movements and, uniquely for a London listed investment company, derived principally from cash flows from approved life science products,’ says Pedro Gonzalez de Cosio, chief executive & co-founder of Pharmakon Advisors LP, the investment manager of BioPharma Credit.

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Diurnal Group PLC - Cardiff, Wales-based pharmaceutical company focused on hormonal diseases - Revenue for half-year to December 31 rises to £2.1 million from £1.2 million, but pretax loss widens to £9.2 million from £5.3 million. This is largely due to higher research & development expenditure. In early March, firm was ‘disappointed’ to receive the Scottish Medicines Consortium decision not to recommend Efmody for automatic reimbursement in Scotland, which it warns will impact near-term revenue in the UK. ‘The company's initial assessment of the impact of the recent SMC decision is that, despite continued strong growth (expected to be in excess of 100% for the 12-month period ended 30 June 2022), near-term sales expectations for Efmody are unlikely to be met and that further funding will be required to reach profitability,’ it says.

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Fintel PLC - Huddersfield, England-based technology and support for retail financial services sector - Revenue for 2021 rises to £63.9 million from £61.0 million and pretax profit nearly doubles at £19.9 million from £10.2 million. Makes £4.3 million gain on sale of subsidiary and £3.5 million on sale of operations. ‘2022 has started positively. Trading has been strong and in line with the board's expectations. We continue to make rapid progress on our strategic delivery and are confident that the company is in a strong position for further growth,’ it says. Proposes final dividend of 2p per share, resulting in full-year dividend of 3p, up from 2.85p in 2020.

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IQGeo Group PLC - Cambridge-based geospatial productivity and collaboration software company focused on the telecoms and utility industries - Revenue for 2021 rises to £13.8 million from £9.2 million in 2020, and pretax loss narrows to £2.7 million from £4.4 million. Says £3.4 million of new annual recurring revenue added in the year, up from £1.4 million in 2020. ‘We are very pleased to report that we have come out ahead of our own expectations for the financial year and made real progress towards our aim of building a high recurring revenue software business,’ says Chief Executive Richard Petti. Expects adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and cash flow break even during 2022. Adjusted Ebitda loss for 2021 was £800,000, narrowed from £2.5 million in 2020.

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Princess Private Equity Holding Ltd - invests in private equity and private debt investments - Net asset value stands at €15.26 per share at end of 2021, up 19% over the year. Princess paid a total dividend of €0.67 per share during the year, in line with previous guidance to distribute 5% of opening NAV for each financial year. For 2022, the company intends to maintain this 5% distribution level. Realisations amounted to €462.5 million in the year and investment activity totalled €342.4 million

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Alliance Pharma PLC - Chippenham, England-based distributor of consumer healthcare brands and prescription medicines - Revenue for 2021 grows to £163.2 million from £129.8 million in 2020, and pretax profit improves to £18.2 million from £13.0 million. Says strong overall revenue growth driven by Consumer Healthcare, which saw see-through revenue grow 31% to £121.8 million. Firm says 2022 has started well. Expects increased growth from Nizoral in 2022 and sales growth acceleration for Amberen. ‘Our clear focus on the core Consumer Healthcare business in addition to our well-established, scalable platform across EMEA, APAC and the US, should support significant organic growth this year and beyond,’ company says.

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