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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Macfarlane Group PLC - Glasgow-based packaging and label company - Says it has made ‘solid’ start to 2022, with sales and profit from continuing operations in the first quarter ahead year-on-year. Packaging Distribution sales up 16% and Manufacturing Operations sales up 93%. Says sales to industrial and hospitality sectors in 2022 have continued to recover, offset by weaker sales to e-commerce retail customers. Expects this weakness in e-commerce retail sector to continue for the remainder of the year, offset by recovery in the industrial and hospitality sectors and the benefit of new business wins. ‘Macfarlane will continue to manage inflationary pressures in input prices and operating costs, mainly labour, energy and transport,’ it says, adding that full-year expectations remain unchanged.

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CEPS PLC - Bath, England-based investment company focussed on the industrial sector - Revenue for 2021 jumps to £20.3 million from £14.0 million in 2020, with firm swinging to pretax profit of £996,000 from loss of £645,000. On sales increase, firm says: ‘Because of the impact of Covid restrictions this comparison is between ’apples and pears’ and, were we to compare this with sales in the financial year to 31 December 2019, the last year unaffected by Covid, this would be a 62% increase. However, as shareholders are aware, several acquisitions have been made in 2021 meaning the comparison takes into account acquisitive as well as organic growth.’ Looking ahead, is confident in making ‘good progress’ over coming year.

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Polar Capital Global Healthcare Trust PLC - invests in portfolio of healthcare stocks - Net asset value per share total return 5.1% for six months to March 31, edging ahead of benchmark, the MSCI ACWI/Healthcare Index, which returns 5.0%. ‘Whilst we would always aim to be further ahead of the benchmark, given the backdrop combined with some of the extreme stock price moves within the healthcare sector, this was arguably a good outcome,’ it says. NAV per share is 333.06 pence on March 31, up 4.7% from 318.07p on September 30. Says outlook for healthcare sector is ‘compelling’.

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Conygar Investment Co PLC - property investment and development group - NAV rises to £126.6 million at end of March 31 from £114.1 million at the end of September. Per share, however, NAV falls to 212.25p from 217.41p, due to share dilution. ‘The soon-to-be opening up and ongoing development programme at The Island Quarter site in Nottingham in conjunction with the resurgence of interest in a nuclear capability in Anglesey leaves the group well-placed to benefit from the post-pandemic economic bounce and strong demand for high-quality, sustainable, UK real estate, particularly in the residential rental market,’ says Chief Executive Robert Ware.

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Pacific Assets Trust PLC - Asia Pacific-focused investor - NAV per share 372.6p at the end of January, up from 344.1p a year ago. Total return for the 12 months to January 31 is 9.1%, lagging UK consumer price index plus 6%, which rises 12%, though outperforms the MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index total return, sterling adjusted, which falls 9.2%. ‘We are satisfied that the trust was able to generate a positive return in absolute terms and at a time when the overall market index for the Asia Pacific region fell by 9.2% during the year. The trust under Stewart Investors’ management has always sought to characterise itself as being a relative haven in difficult market conditions, and this has proved to be the case in the 12 months to the end of January,’ it says.

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Gresham Technologies PLC - London-based software and services company - Makes ‘positive’ start to year, firm says at annual general meeting on Tuesday, with a number of encouraging Clareti orders from existing and new clients, and the acquired Electra business also performing well. Says Electra is now an ‘integral part’ of the firm. ‘Greater regulation, compliance and board oversight of risk management all continue to drive demand for our control and automation solutions in financial services as evidenced by the pleasing growth in our pipeline. This, combined with a strong financial position and our ongoing investment in the group’s resources, underpins the board’s confidence in our ability to continue to deliver profitable organic growth in line with plans,’ says Executive Chair Peter Simmonds.

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Trellus Health PLC - White Plains, New York-based digital health platform for complex chronic conditions - Revenue for 2021 $25,000, versus nothing the year before. Pretax loss widens to $5.9 million, however, from $762,000 due to higher administrative expenses. Says these expenses largely due to employee-related costs and professional costs. ‘I am very pleased that during the last financial year we have expanded the scope of our commercialization strategy beyond our original intentions when we received material funding on admission to AIM. We believe this will allow us to scale the business more quickly,’ says Chair Julian Baines. Has ‘healthy’ cash balance of $32 million at year-end, up sharply from $3.7 million a year before.

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National Milk Records PLC - Chippenham, England-based agricultural technology information services provider - Revenue for its third quarter ended March 31 comes in at £5.6 million, up 3.8% on £5.4 million a year before. Revenue for testing of Johne’s disease, which ‘continues to be a key driver of growth’, rises 9.6% and revenue for milk recording services up 3.8%. ‘Increasing consumer pressure for animal health, antibiotics management, and a sustainable supply chain continues to increase demand for testing in the UK dairy industry, a positive backdrop for NMR. Coupled with exclusive access to a new technology, enabling genomic recording services in new sectors, NMR is well placed to deliver growth in conventional and adjacent sectors of the market,’ it says. Firm adds it is well positioned to meet market expectations as it heads into the final quarter of its financial year, and looks ahead to ‘exciting’ financial 2023.

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