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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Secure Trust Bank PLC - Solihull, England-based savings accounts and lending services provider - New business lending rises 3.6% quarter-on-quarter to £488.2 million in first quarter. Annually, business lending volumes rise 53% from £318.5 million. ‘Record new business volumes have been delivered for successive quarters in both the Vehicle Finance and Retail Finance businesses,’ Secure Trust says. Core loan book rises 19% annually to $2.57 billion, up 4.8% from fourth quarter of 2021. ‘Customer deposits were 4.1% higher at the end of the quarter, in line with loan book growth. The group's strong liquidity position reflects a pre-funding approach for the lending pipeline,’ Secure Trust says.

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Eurocell PLC - Derbyshire-based window, door and roofline PVC products maker - Says group sales in first four months of 2022 up 13% year-on-year, rising 39% from 2019 levels. Eurocell says: ‘The repair, maintenance and improvement market remains robust and we have kept pace with an exceptionally strong comparative period. Current indications are that RMI demand includes a greater emphasis on project-specific work, rather than the higher levels of maintenance activity experienced last year. We believe we are continuing to take market share and have made substantial progress compared to the equivalent period of 2019.’ Company names Derek Mapp as non-executive director and chair designate with effect May 16. Following handover, he takes over as chair from July 1, at which point Bob Lawson will retire. Mapp is also chair of Mitie Group PLC.

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Ideagen PLC - Nottingham-based information management, safety, risk and compliance software provider - Expects revenue for year ended April 30 to rise 41% year-on-year to £92.2 million from £65.6 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to climb by a third to £30.5 million from £22.9 million.

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Mirada PLC - Surrey, England-based broadcasting technology firm - Says trading in year ended March 31 was in line with market expectations. Expects revenue of $11 million, down a touch from $11.1 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation edge down to $1.6 million from $1.7 million. Mirada says: ‘The directors believe that to deliver this performance despite virtually no new business activity taking place across the industry for the first half of the year, is testament to the resilience of Mirada's model and the strength of the relationships the company has with its customers, with many deepening their commercial agreements in the period.’

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Kape Technologies PLC - Isle of Man-based digital security and privacy software provider - Says number of firm's privacy brands have expanded platforms, adding ‘several new features’. Kape adds: ‘The launch of a number of highly innovative new products, in addition to enhanced features on existing solutions, is closely aligned with significant demand across the digital privacy sector. With the cybersecurity sector delivering its strongest quarter on quarter growth to-date, Kape continues to be firmly focused on delivering best-in-class privacy and security solutions that safeguard consumers' digital lives.’ Kape's ExpressVPN product adds online threat manager service, password manager and parallel connections offering to provide ‘speediest re-connection when moving between different networks’.

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H&T Group PLC - Surrey, England-based pawnbroker - Says demand for pledge lending at record levels. H&T's pawnbroking pledge book grows to £78.3 million at end of April from £66.9 million at December 31. Also seeing ‘strong’ demand for new and pre-owned jewellery and watches, with retail sales in line with ‘management expectations and very significantly ahead of the prior year’. H&T adds: ‘[The] foreign exchange performance is recovering quickly as customers return to overseas holidays. Transaction volumes in recent weeks have returned to pre-pandemic levels and are expected to build further over the summer months. H&T will enhance its FX offering ahead of the peak summer period, including the re-introduction of an online service.’

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FBD Holdings PLC - Dublin-based insurance company - Ahead of annual general meeting on Thursday, Chief Executive Tomas Midheach says firm's underwriting performance so far in 2022 has been in line with expectations. ‘While inflation continues to be experienced in property and motor damage claims, injury claims experience has been benign and there were no significant weather events,’ he says. Gross written premiums up 1% annually to date, after adjusting for the prior year's Covid-19 related premium rebates. However, ‘investment markets have been difficult year to date’, Midheach says. On Covid-19 business interruption claims for its pub policies, FBD says provisions remain at €44 million. CEO adds: ‘We are engaging with the plaintiffs on the steps needed to bring final clarity for all concerned.’

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Empresaria Group PLC - Crawley, West Sussex-based specialist staffing - Makes ‘encouraging start’ to 2022, with ‘strong’ growth in net fee income. On track to meet market expectations for 2022.

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Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC - London-based investor in space technology - Says net asset value per share weakens 1.0% quarter-on quarter to 105 pence at March 31 third quarter end, from 104p. Company says this is ‘driven by the impact of weak equity markets on the value of listed portfolio companies’.

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Various Eateries PLC - London-based chain of restaurants, clubhouses and hotels such as Coppa Club - Says trading in first half ended April 3 was robust, save for duration of Covid-19 plan B curbs made to stem spread of Omicron variant in UK. Revenue during half jumps more than five-fold to £17.8 million from £3.3 million a year prior, ‘driven by new site openings and reflecting fewer restricted periods of trading’. Company adds: ‘Since 'Plan B' restrictions were lifted in January 2022, overall trading steadily recovered and has been in line with management expectations, despite various macro uncertainties.’ ‘The group is conscious that the industry-wide challenges currently faced, including labour shortages and increasing inflation, have heightened uncertainty. However, with a management team who have seen many periods of uncertainty before, the group is confident in its ability to successfully navigate the challenges while continuing to pursue its exciting growth strategy.’

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Abingdon Health PLC - York, England-based rapid test developer and manufacturer - Teams with biomedical laboratory services provider Bimelix Ab for development of Lyme disease lateral flow self-test. ‘Abingdon and Bimelix have been collaborating for over 12 months on the feasibility of developing a Lyme disease LFT self-test. Under the terms of the agreement, Abingdon and Bimelix will jointly complete the development of the Lyme disease test and scale-up to manufacture, and will also be jointly responsible for the commercialisation of the test,’ Abingdon says.

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Poolbeg Pharma PLC - London-based pharmaceutical company - Signs GMP manufacturing deal to ensure ‘ample supply’ of POLB 001 asset, which aims to address a significant unmet need in severe influenza. Asset will be used in the upcoming human challenge clinical trial due to start next month.

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Panther Metals PLC - mineral exploration in Canada - Reports update on Coglia nickel and cobalt project drilling work, following initial announcement by 37%-owned Panther Metals Ltd. Final assay results show ‘highest-grade intercepts of nickel and cobalt’ across whole drill programme at the Western Australia-located asset. Panther Metals Ltd Managing Director Daniel Tuffin says work for mineral resource estimate begins immediately.

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Wishbone Gold PLC - Gibraltar-based precious metals trading and exploration company - Says heritage survey underway at Red Setter copper and gold project in Western Australia. ‘The aim of this survey is to increase access to peripheral targets, beyond those already cleared, where drilling will start in the next few weeks,’ Wishbone says.

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Caledonia Mining Corp PLC - gold producer with operations in Zimbabwe - Says revenue in first quarter of 2022 increases 36% to $35.1 million from $25.7 million. Pretax profit rises 46% to £12.5 million from £8.5 million. Says gold output rises 40% to 18,515 ounces from 13,197 ounces a year prior.

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Artemis Resources Ltd - Perth-based miner with gold, copper and cobalt projects in Australia - Completes heritage survey at Osborne nickel prospect, which is subject to farm-in joint venture with GreenTech Metals Ltd. GreenTech plans six drill holes. ‘This programme is anticipated to commence in June following receipt of the heritage clearance report,’ Artemis adds.

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