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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Virgin Wines UK PLC - direct-to-consumer online wine retailer - Revenue in year ended June 30 declines 6.3% to £69 million from £73.6 million. However, revenue is up 63% from pre-Covid times, ‘highlighting that the business has retained much of the substantial growth achieved during the Covid-19 lockdowns, despite the lifting of restrictions and opening up of hospitality’. Says earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fall to £6.3 million from £7 million. Virgin Money adds that 105,000 new customers were acquired across all schemes in the year, 5% ahead of expectations. ‘The group’s focus has been on customer acquisition, as well as mitigating the pressures of rising costs and supply chain challenges. It has managed these successfully as a result of its resilient business model, its flexible open-source wine-buying, increased levels of UK bottling and its ability to manage margins through the bespoke pre-mixing of cases,’ Virgin Wines says.

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M&C Saatchi PLC - London-based advertising agency - Says net revenue in first half of 2022 rises 10% year-on-year, due to a ‘strong performance in our high growth specialisms and in the UK, Americas and Asia, and is further evidence of the successful growth strategy launched at the start of 2021’. Headline pretax profit for whole of 2022 predicted to hit £31 million, up from £27.3 million.

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Hotel Chocolat Group PLC - Royston, Hertfordshire-based chocolatier - Says Hotel Chocolat KK joint-venture in Japan gains court approval for civil rehabilitation restructuring proceedings. Company had loaned the JV £23 million over the period 2018 to 2022 for working capital purposes. In addition, it entered into guarantee arrangements of up to £5.8 million for loans made to JV by Japanese leasing companies. Hotel Chocolat has 20% stake in the JV.

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Empresaria Group PLC - Crawley, England-based specialist staffing company - Says net fee income rises 15% yearly in first half of 2022 to £32.6 million. ‘We delivered very strong year-on-year growth in offshore services which has continued to go from strength to strength and now employs over 2,700 people. We also had good growth in our professional and IT operations in APAC. As expected, net fee income from healthcare reduced after a very strong 2021 where we benefitted from significant demand from Covid-19 vaccination programmes,’ company says. Expects 2022 results in line with market expectations.

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Fintel PLC - Huddersfield, England-based technology and support for retail financial services sector - Says total revenue climbs 1.6% to £32.2 million in first half of 2022, from £31.7 million a year earlier. Adjusted Ebitda improves 4.8% to £8.7 million from £8.3 million. ‘In the first six months of 2022 the business has continued to trade well with strong core revenue growth in line with the board’s expectations and outpacing the revenue impact of strategic disposals,’ Fintel says.

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Headlam Group PLC - Birmingham-based floor coverings distributor - Hails ‘pleasing’ first half of 2022, shaking off ‘economic environment and inflationary impact on consumer spending’. Headlam says: ‘Underlying profitability improved year-on-year. Revenue was only marginally below the prior year period, and commissioned specialist research indicates the company improved its market share in the period.’ Revenue declines 1.8% annually to £323.8 million from £329.9 million. Revenue rises 5.1% in continental Europe but declines 2.9% in UK. Says on track to meet market expectations.

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Epwin Group PLC - Solihull, England-based building products manufacturer - Says revenue in first-half of 2022 13% ahead of ‘strong 2021 comparative period at £178.0 million’. Says revenue hike driven by pricing, as Epwin bods to recover input costs. ‘Raw material costs continued to increase in the first half, with PVC resin hitting an all-time high in April, although this has subsequently plateaued. Despite disruption to the supply chains in the wider market, the group has been able to secure sufficient raw materials to meet demand and expects to be able to continue to do so. The group continues to work with its customers to pass-on heightened costs in an equitable manner through price increases and surcharges,’ Epwin says. ‘Whilst trading conditions have moderated slightly in June and July, and although also mindful of the wider macro-economic conditions, the board remains confident of achieving expectations in 2022.’

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Dekel Agri-Vision PLC - West Africa-based agriculture company - Says colour sorter for large-scale cashew processing plant at Tiebissou, Ivory Coast has been installed. Commissioning has begun, leading to ‘significant increase in daily production in the coming weeks’. Shelling machines have arrived at Abidjan port, roughly 280 kilometres from town of Tiebissou. ‘Once installed and commissioned we have the capacity to reach our goal of processing 10,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2023,’ Dekel adds. ‘The cashew operation is running smoothly and is well-positioned to deliver positive operating cash flow from Q4 2022 onwards.’

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Sylvania Platinum Ltd - South Africa-focused platinum miner - Says Sylvania Dump Operations output increases to 18,837 4E platinum group metals ounces in fourth quarter, up 19% from 15,840 ounces in third quarter. Operations achieve $34.9 million net revenue for quarter, down from $47.9 million in third quarter as PGM basket price declines 22%. Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation decrease to $16.8 million from $30.0 million.

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Atome Energy PLC - Leeds, England-based producer and marketer of green hydrogen and ammonia - Has entered into its first front-end engineering design contract in relation to its first phase 60 megawatt Villeta project facility. The contract has been signed with Concret-Mix, a local Paraguayan company with extensive experience in this type of engineering work, it says. ‘The entry into the FEED contract is the next step in what will in due course culminate in an aggregate of 400MW of green hydrogen and ammonia production in Paraguay, the first phase of which at Villeta is expected to commence production by first quarter 2025,’ says Chief Executive Olivier Mussat.

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Kazera Global PLC - diamonds and rare earths explorer in South Africa and Namibia - Says Department of Mining and Mineral Resources in South Africa dismisses a third-party appeal against the grant of mining permit for Kazera’s 60%-owned Whale Head Minerals. ‘WHM now expects to shortly receive final documentation allowing it to commence production operations of heavy mineral sands at the Walviskop mine in South Africa,’ Kazera added.

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Thor Mining PLC - Australia-focused exploration and development company - Says drilling in Northern Territory assets finds 46 metre intersection of magnetite skarn and weakly disseminated tungsten-molybdenum-copper mineralisation. ‘Exploring for this style of mineralisation is difficult without the presence of significant amounts of magnetite that can be easily defined in magnetic surveys. Other magnetic targets along strike show the potential for further mineralisation at Molyhil,’ Managing Director Nicole Galloway Warland says. However, company notes assay results ‘were lower than visible grade estimates’. Samples have been ‘resubmitted for analysis using two different analytical techniques’.

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Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC - Cambridge-based assessment software provider - Signs two new pacts in field of post-traumatic stress disorder. Strikes research pact with United States Department of Defense, having earlier secured a deal with a ‘top 10 pharmaceutical company’.

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Live Co Group PLC - Surrey, England-based live events, entertainment and sports events company - Says has nine Bricklive events currently happening throughout UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Northern Ireland.

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