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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SSE PLC - FTSE 100-listed Perth, Scotland-based energy company - SSEN Transmission subsidiary agrees £350 million private placement. Placement will be issued in two tranches: a £175 million, 10-year note at a rate of 3.13% and a £175 million, 15-year note at a rate of 3.24%. ‘The proceeds are earmarked to fund part of SSEN Transmission’s programme of critical investments in transmission network infrastructure that will help accommodate the significant increase in renewables required to bolster the UK’s energy security and achieve the transition to net zero emissions, as well as cover existing maturing debt,’ company explains.

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Croda International PLC - FTSE 100-listed Yorkshire, England-based chemicals maker - Wins £15.9 million UK government grant to expand its manufacturing facility in Leek, Staffordshire. ‘The investment will significantly enhance the development of high-purity lipid systems, essential delivery systems for next generation nucleic acid drugs such as mRNA vaccines,’ company explains. Adds that it will also chip in £15.9 million to help the expansion. Daniele Piergentili, president of Croda Life Sciences says: ‘This investment will meaningfully enhance our lipid system capability and manufacturing capacity, ensuring that Croda plays a central role in both the development and future supply of this important delivery technology.’

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Mobeus Income & Growth VCT PLC - venture capital trust managed by Gresham House Asset Management Ltd - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 90.31 pence, rising from 67.03p at the same point the year prior. Annual dividend slips to 9.00p from 11.00p. Total NAV return in 2021 was 42.2%. Chair Clive Boothman says: ‘Although this period has been marked by continued challenges, the portfolio has proven to be resilient and adaptive in facing them. The way in which businesses have been able to identify and capitalise on new opportunities in the changing UK consumer and business environment has been satisfying.’

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Henderson High Income Trust PLC - pure income trust investing in dividend-paying UK companies - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 177.92 pence, rising from 157.25p at the same point the year prior. Annual dividend increases slightly to 9.95p from 9.90p. Total NAV return 19.8% in 2021, which outperforms benchmark which saw a return of 14.1%. Chair Jeremy Rigg says: ‘A number of factors contributed to the outperformance versus the benchmark return. In particular, the company’s asset allocation was helpful due to an overweight position in equities and an underweight position in bonds relative to the benchmark. The company’s gearing was also beneficial during a period of positive returns for the UK equity market as was the bond portfolio, which outperformed its benchmark by an impressive 5.8% in 2021 due to good stock selection.’

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Invesco Bond Income Plus Ltd - investment company focused on bonds and other fixed-interest securities - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 193.82 pence, slipping from 194.29p at same point year prior. Annual dividend grows to 10.75p from 10.00p. Total NAV return in 2021 5.3%, slowing from 6.9% return in 2020, but outperforms ICE BofA European Currency High Yield Index return of 4.0%. Chair Tim Scholefield says: ‘In the shorter term we could well see nerves tested and increasing market volatility. However, we are inclined to view this prospect as a temporary period of turbulence likely to provide attractive opportunities for our type of fundamental, longer term investment approach.’

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BMO Real Estate Investments Ltd - real estate investment trust - Net asset value per share ends 2021 at 121.0 pence, rising from 102.1p six months earlier. EPRA earnings per share in first half grows to 2.0p from in same period year prior 1.8p. ‘The UK real estate market enjoyed its highest total returns for seven years in 2021. Against this background, the group has generated a very positive outcome over the last 6 months,’ Chair Vikram Lall says. Company adds: ‘The group’s property portfolio delivered a total return of 16.3% over the six-month period, showing significant outperformance against the MSCI return of 10.5%. The outperformance was largely driven by capital growth, although the portfolio also continued to maintain a yield advantage through an enhanced income return.’

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Renewables Infrastructure Group Ltd - Guernsey-based renewable energy investor advised by InfraRed Capital Partners - Buys 49% equity interest in Project Valdesolar, an operating solar park in the province of Badajoz, Spain, from Repsol, a Spanish-listed global energy company. Repsol developed and built Valdesolar, and will retain a 51% equity interest in the project. No financial details disclosed.

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BiON PLC - Kuala Lumpur-based renewable energy services - Enters agreement to sell BiON Ventures Sdn Bhd, its main operational subsidiary, to Minnos Ventures Inc. After deal, company will become cash shell. The consideration for the proposed disposal is £1.00, as it does not have sufficient resources to run business. ‘As regards the Group’s operations, the four existing biogas power plants have for various reasons been producing only 1MW out of the 7MW capacity to the National Grid and a new 3MW plant in Indonesia remains under construction. To upgrade and repair the existing plants would require some MYR12 million, about $2.9 million, and completion of the Indonesian plant another MYR10 million. The company does not have access to such funding,’ company explains. Company also conditionally raises £1 million from placing at 0.3 pence per share, which will be used be used to settle outstanding creditors of the company, with the remainder - £600,000 - to be used to search for acquisition opportunities.

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Love Hemp Group PLC - London-based cannabidiol products - Pretax loss in six months to December 31 widens to £5.1 million from £1.2 million in same period a year prior. Revenue slips to £1.7 million from £2.4 million. Administrative expenses rises to £5.5 million from £2.8 million. Chair Andrew Male says first half performance was ‘disappointing’. The widened loss, he continues: ‘reflects the planned and significant investment Love Hemp has made in marketing and brand building. Included in this are the administration costs associated with the licensing agreement with the UFC and the agreement with former world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua as brand ambassador amongst additional key product and brand development costs. The quantum of these costs are a long term investment which the board has approved to build Love Hemp into one of the UK’s best known CBD and Wellness companies.’

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Sabien Technology Group PLC - Watford-based boiler efficiency products - Pretax loss in six months to December 31 widens to £569,000 from £310,000 loss in same period a year prior. Revenue drops to £121,000 from £412,000. Administrative expenses rises to £639,000 from £522,000. Notes sales orders in first half falls to £278,000 from £362,000.

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Polarean Imaging PLC - North Carolina-based MRI equipment and medical-imaging technology company - Files resubmission of its new drug application with the US Food & Drug Administration for its investigational drug‑device combination product using hyperpolarised Xenon. ‘It is currently expected that the FDA review period will take six months. The company is making full use of this time with regards to commercialisation and launch preparation and will further update the market once material information is received,’ company adds.

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Feedback PLC - medical imaging software company - Says its cloud TB screening service is now live at the Evangelical Hospital Khariar in Odisha, India. ‘The pilot, run in partnership with Qure.ai and Amazon Web Services will now move into an evaluative stage where the system benefits will be measured as patients come through. In parallel the company will pursue a number of opportunities to commercialise the system, leveraging the evidence generated by the pilot,’ company adds.

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Poolbeg Pharma PLC - London-based pharmaceutical company - Signs clinical trial agreement with the Centre for Human Drug Research in the Netherlands for the completion of a bacterial lipopolysaccharide human challenge study of POLB 001, which is due to commence in June 2022. First results are expected before the end of 2022 at which point the company aims to ‘rapidly monetise’ by partnering or out licensing the asset for further development.

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Pure Gold Mining Inc - Vancouver, Canada-based gold miner - Reports net loss in final three months of $17.9 million, with net loss in 2021 of $34.9 million. Revenue in final quarter of 2021 was $15.9 million, with annual revenue at $31.9 million. Gold produced and sold in final quarter 7,565 and 7,100 ounces, respectively. Annually, gold produced was 26,899 with gold sold at 25,238.

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Gem Diamonds Ltd - Lesotho and Botswana-focused diamond miner - Enters binding share sale agreement with Okwa Diamonds Ltd for the sale of 100% of the share capital of Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary Ltd, the owner of the Ghaghoo diamond mine in Botswana. Okwa Diamonds, an SPV company registered in Botswana, is owned by AIM-listed Vast Resources PLC. No financial details disclosed.

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Atalaya Mining PLC - mining company focused on Spain - Notes ICBC Standard Bank PLC plans to sell up to 30.7 million shares in company to institutional investors. The shares represent the entire holding of Yanggu Xiangguang Copper Co Ltd, which is held via its subsidiary, Hong Kong Xiangguang International Holdings Ltd, in company and is about 22.0% of its existing issued share capital. Says price of shares will be decided at the close of the bookbuild process. The placing is not being underwritten.

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Tectonic Gold PLC - Sydney-based mineral explorer in Australia and South Africa - Pretax loss in six months to December 31 widens to £198,977 from £60,084 in same period a year prior. Loss stems primarily from employee benefits and management fees rises sharply to £143,333 from £500. Corporate costs grows to £72,671 from £33,999. Does not generate revenue in either period. Company says: ‘During the half year to December 2021, the company ran a significant field campaign on the lead gold exploration project at Specimen Hill. Our partnership with London listed Kazera Global Investments PLC also delivered the further production of diamonds from the Alexkor site in South Africa.’

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Anglo African Agriculture PLC - agriculture investment company - Attributable loss in year to October 31 narrows to £584,633 from a £1.0 million loss in the same period a year prior. Revenue from contracts slips to £1.4 million from £1.8 million. Chair Andrew Monk says period was ‘very disappointing’. He adds: ‘AAA’s primary operations and source of revenue remains Dynamic Intertrade, our Cape Town based spice blender and trader. The company’s operations have been negatively affected by Covid-19 with sales in local currency falling 23.2% and 20.8% in reporting currency. This was primarily driven by the South African economy being impacted by Covid-19.’

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Metal Tiger PLC - Winchester, England-based investment company focused on the natural resources sector - Pretax profit in 2021 rises to £4.2 million from £3.8 million in 2020. Investment income grows to £1.5 million from £648,000, while profit on investment disposals more than doubles to £2.0 million from £745,000. Chair Charles Hall says: ‘As the board looks to the future, there will be an increased focus on larger investments in advanced resource definition-development stage alongside the traditional high conviction earlier stage investments with a medium to long term investment timeframe and where we can obtain board representation. On the less active front the board has nearly exited all of its legacy positions and will be focusing on diversifying into shorter-medium term, lower risk, investment opportunities, to balance risk profiles against earlier stage investments.’

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Technology Minerals PLC - London-based producer of battery metals from both mining and recycling of spent batteries - Delays publication of interim results. ‘This follows guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority on corporate reporting timetables in light of Covid-19 and will allow the company sufficient time to complete the process of preparing and reviewing the results,’ it explains. Says results will be issued no later than April 29.

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