Source - Alliance News

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

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Ebiquity PLC - London-based marketing and media consultant - Revenue for 2021 rises 13% to £63.1 million from £55.9 million in 2020, but pretax loss widens to £5.7 million from £3.9 million. Says loss is after accruing £7.9 million towards the deferred consideration for Digital Decisions BV, payable in 2023. On underlying basis, swings to pretax profit of £4.1 million from loss of £1.3 million. ‘I am pleased with our progress in 2021, both in terms of revenue growth and importantly, a return to profit after a challenging 2020,’ says Chief Executive Nick Water. Firm expects further ‘good revenue growth’ in 2022 as well as margin improvement. ‘While the global economic environment and the recent outbreak of war in the Ukraine create significant uncertainties, we believe that the dynamics of the advertising market continue to offer opportunities for Ebiquity to develop its business as planned,’ firm says.

Separately, Ebiquity unveils plans to buy Media Management LLC, a US-focused media audit specialist, for an initial consideration of £6.1 million with a deferred consideration element payable in 2025. It also reports proposed acquisition of Media Path Network AB, a Swedish-based multi-national media consultancy, for a consideration of £15.5 million. To finance the Media Path deal - as well as accelerate growth of the enlarged business and strengthen its balance sheet - the company raises £15.0 million in share placing pried at 53.0 pence each. Says placing ‘received significant support from existing shareholders and new blue chip institutional investors.’

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Shepherd Neame Ltd - Faversham, Kent-based brewer and pub chain - Revenue for 26 weeks to December 25 rises to £78.7 million from £50.9 million a year ago, while firm swings to pretax profit of £5.4 million from loss of £7.2 million. Says it ‘successfully remobilised the business’ after pandemic disruption. Retail like-for-like sales up 81% on a year before, but down 11% on two years ago. On current trading, says retail like-for-like sales were above pre-pandemic levels in 13 weeks to March 26. ‘Our business is in good shape and has traded well following the lifting of all restrictions. However, the current economic uncertainties are putting inflationary pressure on the sector which will impact margins,’ says Chief Executive Jonathan Neame.

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Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC - West Sussex-based brick maker - Revenue for 2021 rises to £59.5 million from GP52.0 million in 2020, surpassing 2019's revenue of £53.5 million. Pretax profit rises to £9.7 million from £6.9 million, though still below the £10.4 million posted for 2019. Says performance in 2021 ‘excellent’ and declares final dividend of 2.50p per share, resulting in full-year payout of 3.65p, up 46% on 2020. ‘We are operating in a sector which is fundamental to the post Covid recovery. We have entered 2022 with a strong and balanced order book and are continuing to see positive order intake momentum from our broad customer base with high demand across all our key markets,’ says Chair Martin Warner. Adds that energy price hedging in place with over 90% of expected requirements secured for 2022.

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Team17 Group PLC - video game developer - Revenue for 2021 rises 9% to £90.5 million from £83.0 million and pretax profit increases 11% to £29.1 million. Says it performed well in ‘challenging’ year. ‘With underlying growth in the core Games Label business combined with the addition in the second half of StoryToys, the Group once again reported improved revenues across a growing portfolio,’ it says. Released 12 new games in the year. Adds that year has started well in the existing businesses, with contributions from the newly acquired businesses which are operating in line with expectations. Says impact of pandemic and inflation to increase costs in 2022 by £1.7 million and Ukraine conflict to hit revenue by £4 million and earnings before interest and tax by £2.5 million. ‘In spite of unforeseen headwinds, the group remains well positioned to continue to deliver on our growth plans, supported by the recent acquisitions coupled with the underlying strength and continued momentum of the group's broadening games portfolio and healthy development pipeline across the enlarged group,’ it says.

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Gfinity PLC - London-based e-sports and gaming - Revenue for six months to end of December £3.3 million, up from £3.0 million year-on-year. Pretax loss widens to £1.5 million from £841,124 due to higher administrative expenses and lower gain on disposal of associate. ‘We have continued to improve on financial performance during the period, despite a slower than anticipated return to live events and delays in certain revenue streams. The business remains on the right path to profitability, with increased revenues, lower operating losses and reduced operating expenditure,’ says Chief Executive John Clarke. Says recent placing gives business funds to pursue growth objections and keep it on track for target of reaching profitability in 2023.

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Seeing Machines Ltd - Canberra, Australia-based AI technology company - Revenue for half-year ended December 31 grows to A$21.7 million - around £12.4 million - from A$18.1 million in 2020, with pretax loss slimming to A$13.7 million from A$16.8 million. Installed Guardian units rise to 36,933 connected units from 31,771 a year before, which it says shows ongoing momentum for Aftermarket business despite Covid and supply chain challenges. Says there is ‘considerable accelerating momentum’ for the business, and it continues to trade within range of consensus expectations for full-year. ‘There are obviously challenges with the current geopolitical and global inflationary environment and supply chain that affect the market as a whole. We are focused on mitigating these risks as they are identified and are confident in our ability to continue to grow the business,’ says Chief Executive Paul McGlone.

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Inspired PLC - Preston, England-based energy advisory and sustainability services provider - Revenue for 2021 rises 47% to £67.9 million from £46.1 million in 2020, and firm swings to pretax profit of £1.1 million from loss of £4.5 million. Proposes final dividend of 0.13 pence, resulting in full-year payout of 0.25p versus 0.22p the year before. Says year was a strong one as activity bounced back following easing of Covid restrictions, with trading gaining ‘strong’ momentum in the second half. On current trading, says first quarter has started in line with expectations. ‘We note that new business sales have started particularly well with the orderbook values of new customer contracts signed in the first two months of the year being some 93% ahead of the previous year. This should not be confused with revenue growth as order book will flow to revenue over multiple years and this performance is likely to smooth over the year. However, a positive start despite a challenging macroeconomic environment,’ firm says.

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Phoenix Spree Deutschland Ltd - investment company specialising in German real estate - Gross rental income for 2021 grows 7.9% to €25.8 million and pretax profit up 19% to €45.3 million. Maintains dividend at 7.50 cents. Portfolio valuation rises 4.3% to €801.5 million at end of December, with like-for-like valuation growth of 6.3%. IFRS net asset value per share end 2021 at €4.74, up from €4.48 a year before. Says 2021 was strong year despite full implementation of Berlin rent controls, subsequent reversal in April 2021, and Covid-19 fall-out. ‘Berlin market dynamics remain positive and affordability comparisons with other German cities are still favourable. Moreover, it is expected that Berlin demographic trends, particularly net inward migration, will further strengthen when restrictions associated with COVID-19 are permanently removed,’ it says.

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Anglo Pacific Group PLC - natural resources royalty and streaming - Royalty and metal stream related revenue rises to $85.3 million from $43.7 million in 2020 - a record figure, with 45% of this generated in the final quarter. Says record results driven by strong performances at Kestrel and Voisey's Bay. Anglo Pacific swings to pretax profit of $54.6 million from loss of $34.9 million. Proposes final dividend of 1.75p per share, taking total for year to 7p, in line with guidance. ‘The global economy is now facing inflationary pressures unseen over the past 30 years. In the past, hard assets such as commodities have outperformed in periods of significant inflation, and Anglo Pacific is exceptionally well positioned to provide investors with exposure to non-precious commodity prices without direct exposure to operating cost inflation incurred by the mining sector. This is the unique benefit of the royalty and stream business model,’ says Chief Executive Marc Bishop Lafleche.

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Bank of Cyprus Holdings PLC - Nicosia-based lender - Turnover for 2021 was at €755.2 million, down from €765.1 million in 2020, but swings to pretax profit of €36.1 million from loss of €166.9 million. Credit losses to cover credit risk on loans and advances to customers shrinks to €40.3 million from €275.1 million the year before. Says it does not have any banking operations in Russia or Ukraine, following the sale of its operations in Ukraine in 2014 and in Russia in 2015, but it does have a legacy net exposure of €10 million as at December 31 in Russia which is being run down. Says paving the way for dividend distributions from 2023 onwards. ‘The group has a clear strategy in place, leveraging on its strong customer base, its renewed customer trust, its market leadership position, and further developing digital knowledge and infrastructure, with a clear focus on creating shareholder value. The group now increases its medium term return on tangible equity target to over 10%, providing the foundations for a return of dividend distributions, subject to performance and relevant approvals,’ firm says.

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