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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City Pub Group PLC - London-based operator of 42 pubs in southern England and Wales - Says like-for-like sales have strengthened faster than expected. Says like-for-like sales in May up 5% from three years earlier, prior to onset of pandemic. In Jubilee long weekend alone, like-for-like sales were 20% higher from pre-Covid times. City Pub notes the one-off nature of the boost, but says it ‘great to see customers coming back to our pubs in force’. ‘Following the delays caused by the pandemic, we are delighted to have recently opened The Oyster House in Mumbles and The Tivoli in Cambridge. Initial trading is encouraging at both sites,’ City Pub says. Says continuing to seek ways to mitigate accelerating cost inflation. Reviews own cost base ‘with vigour’, placing focus on labour scheduling and efficiency. ‘Whilst we are mindful of the many economic challenges and cost pressures which currently persist, we now have strong sales momentum across the group following three months of restriction-free trading and we are keenly focused on ways to increase sales further,’ City Pub says.

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Fulham Shore PLC - owner of the Franco Manca restaurant chain - Says trades in line with expectations in April and May. It is now serving over 100,000 customers per week in Franco Manca and over 40,000 customers per week in The Real Greek, highlighting ‘popularity of the two businesses as well as their reputation for quality and value’. Says tourists returning to London’s West End region and notes some of its Franco Manca and The Real Greek stores are located in places with large number of offices, as a return to pre-pandemic life continues. ‘Industry-wide cost pressures have been mitigated by some menu inflation, successful negotiations on rent reviews and by the strong trading across the group’s restaurants located in suburban areas and shopping centres,’ Fulham Shore says. ‘Trading has rebounded positively from the various Covid-19 interruptions and new openings in both of the businesses are performing strongly.’

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Sanderson Design Group PLC - Buckinghamshire-based interior furnishings company - Signs three-year partnership with interior designer and TV broadcaster Sophie Robinson, who is hailed at the ’queen of colour’ due to her passion for ‘bright and exuberant interiors’. Robinson will design a collection of wallpapers and fabrics for Sanderson’s Harlequin brand. The collection is expected to launch in spring 2023.

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Scholium Group PLC - London-based rare books, arts and collectibles - Continues to turn profit in second half of year to March 31, after profitable interim. Thre company decides to close its Mayfair Philatelics unit. Says provision for any residual costs and charges stemming from closure to be recognised in financial 2022. They will be booked as a ‘discontinued business expense’. Plans to release annual results by August end.

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Newbury Racecourse PLC - Newbury, England-based racing, entertainment and events company - Eyes resumption of annual dividends in 2023, following £3 million special dividend declared in May. Says horse racing industry ‘has finally returned to normal activity’ after Covid-19 hit. Says has been able to welcome paying attendance unrestricted since Covid-19 curbs were lifted in July 2021. Notes all racecourse’s media rights to transfer to Arena Leisure Racing in two separate stages, starting with Betting Shop retail rights moving on start of April next year, before all others at start of year 2024. ‘This will see all our racing broadcast on Sky Sports Racing TV as well as a number of days on ITV which we are very excited about. This new media rights contract will give improved exposure to our racing and is backed by minimum financial guarantees that give us great confidence about the future of this important revenue stream,’ Newbury Racecourse adds. Despite progress, company says Covid-19 ‘set the business back from its original strategic investment plan’.

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Parity Group PLC - data and technology-focused recruiter - Says cost reductions in first half of 2021 mean company has scope to make investments in building capability. This is focused on ‘areas where the market is stronger and where we can deliver on new business opportunities in H2’. It has established a new team dedicated to permanent recruitment, seeing early success and a ‘rapidly growing pipeline’. In the private sector, it has added four new revenue generating clients since the start of the year. It has not ‘overlooked’ its core public sector arm. It has won ‘new frameworks, adding four new local government frameworks within the last two months’.

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Cordel Group PLC - London-based artificial intelligence platform for transport corridor analytics - Says partnership with rail solutions sector provider Holland LP awarded deal to deliver light detection and ranging-based solutions to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in US. Cordel’s partnership with Holland LP means a number of Holland track inspection vehicles will carry Cordel hardware for contracted services. The Cordel Web Viewer will enable Holland’s customers to conduct virtual site visits, making centimetre-accurate measurements, without the need to deploy staff to the field. The partnership was announced back in September 2021. Cordel provides an artificial intelligence platform for transport corridor analytics. Holland provides geometry, rail wear, and track strength testing services for over 120 freight, transit, short line, and other customers in North America.

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1Spatial PLC - Cambridge, England-based IT service management company - Secures new two-year contract for UK’s HS2 high speed rail network. Will build a data validation gateway, helping to validate standards and design of construction-related data submitted by HS2 supply chain. This will ‘in turn will contribute to the efficiency and effective information delivery’ of the rail line. The pact has a total value of £900,000 and has option to be extended for further two years.

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Safestyle UK PLC - Bradford, England-based PVCu double-glazed windows provider - Says trading in line with expectations, helped by television campaign, its largest since 2017. ‘We believe that this campaign has helped mitigate the impact of declining consumer confidence and general economic uncertainty,’ Safestyle says. Says first quarter order intake ‘remained robust’, despite cyberattack. Order intake grew 16% to end of April. Order book, meanwhile, was up 26% annually at April end. ‘Revenue for the first four months of the year was 6.7% ahead of last year, with March and April delivering over 10% growth reflecting the recovery from operational disruption caused by the cyber attack in January,’ Safestyle. Says cyberattack which occurred late-January delayed implementation of price increases. ‘The price increase has now been implemented and the business will continue to respond quickly to any future increase in costs. Concurrently, we are putting a commensurate focus on our internal productivity and overheads,’ company says. ‘Guidance for the full year remains unchanged with the financial impact of the cyber attack confined to H1. Despite the challenging context, our H2 financial performance is forecast to follow the improving trajectory achieved in FY 2021.’ Will release results for six months ending July 3 on September 22.

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Coral Products PLC - Merseyside-based supplier of injection moulded plastic products - Expects sales of at least £14.4 million for the year ended April 30, up 35% from £10.7 million. Expects pretax profit ‘materially above market expectations’. Plans to propose a final dividend 0.2 pence per share, taking total payout to 1.1p, up 10% from 1.0p. Since year end date, seals buys of Film & Foil Solutions Ltd and Alma Products Ltd. Executive Chair Joe Grimmond adds: ‘Sales from the existing subsidiaries continue to improve. Whilst it is still early in our current year and despite a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the macroeconomic circumstances, we are confident our current performance.’

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Zinnwald Lithium PLC - High Wycombe, England-based mineral exploration and development company - Updates on progress at Zinnwald lithium project in Germany. The company says an in-fill drilling programme is ready to kick off subject to receiving final permits. It plans exploration drilling campaign to test historical drill data, with the resource potential at the Falkenhain exploration licence in mind. SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd will provide competent person support for drilling and geometallurgy work. In addition, there are plans to deliver a bankable feasibility study within 18 months. Zinnwald also eyes providing greater project clarity in the form of a preliminary economic assessment ‘as soon as the company can’.

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Xeros Technology Group PLC- Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England-based developer and licensor of platform technologies - Says market launch of the world’s first Xeros enabled domestic washing machine in India, alongside IFB Industries Ltd, delayed to fourth quarter of 2022, from third quarter. ‘Since the end of regional Covid restrictions in India in late Q1, Xeros and IFB teams in Sheffield and Goa have been finalising machine designs and programming bespoke XOrb wash cycles, which improve performance with less water and energy. With these tasks complete, following an initial limited manufacturing run, IFB will soon be moving a number of machines into consumer homes for user testing and launch planning at the end of June 2022,’ Xeros says. ‘Factory testing by both IFB and Xeros has confirmed the significant environmental benefits of Xeros’ technology, delivering water savings of up to 50% and, importantly for consumers, clear fabric care benefits are already evident after just a few washes.’

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Savannah Resources PLC - London-based mineral resource development company - Says 2022 is a ‘critical year’ as looks to progress Barroso lithium project in northern Portugal. Says ‘key goal’ for year is to secure environmental impact assessment approval for project’s development and an offtake or investment agreement for lithium concentrate production. On the first goal, Savannah says it shares ‘frustrations of our shareholders’ in regard to timing of assessment progress. ‘We passed the second anniversary of lodging the EIA on 25 May 2022 and the executive team continues to work hard to bring this to a resolution. It is important to note that the finalisation of the EIA is a political process over which Savannah has little control. This time last year, we had expectations that the decision would have been received by now,’ Savannah says, noting a general election was called in late-January this year, impacting timing of EIA due to appointments to government cabinet. ‘We are confident though that the new administration is now in a position to make a decision and remain hopeful of a positive outcome,’ Savannah says. On offtake, company says its ‘cautious approach’ has been vindicated as price of lithium concentrate has risen near nine-fold to $6,200 per tonne over past 12 months, well above firm’s assumed price of $685 per tonne in scoping study.

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CleanTech Lithium PLC - Jersey-based lithium exploration and development company focused on Chile - Seals direct lithium extraction test work which produces one kilogramme of grade lithium carbonate for analysis. CleanTech says ‘very pleased’ with results. Says lithium carbonate grade of sample is above 99.9%, ahead of benchmark for battery grade lithium of above 99.5%.

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SDX Energy PLC - London-based oil and gas company focused on Egypt and Morocco - Reports gas discovery at MA-1X well located in South Disouq in Egypt. Says Kafr El Sheikh target was encountered at 5,762 feet measured depth and discovered 56.3 feet of net pay gas sand at average porosity of just under 32%.

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Bens Creek Group PLC - London-based mining company focused in North America - Makes further delivery of ‘High Vol B’ coal product to offtake partner Integrity Coal Sales Inc. Says second train of 100 cars arrives to Ben Creek mine. Says train loaded with 11,000 tonnes of coal product. ‘A third 100 car train has been booked, which we expect to arrive during the current month,’ company adds.

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