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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Mortgage Advice Bureau Holdings PLC - Derby, England-based mortgage advice provider - Says that ‘extreme’ market and lending conditions following the UK mini-budget in September ‘severely’ impacted activity levels across its product lines, with written business in October and November around 50% below expected levels. Adds the reduction in mortgage activity and new house sales is expected to persist until early 2023. Notes that adviser recruitment in its final quarter has also been impacted, with the majority of its AR firms deciding not to onboard new advisers. Says that pipelines are still holding together ‘reasonably well’ but expects slightly higher fallout rates than usual. Expresses disappointment in the liquidation of Boomin and expects a £2.8 million non-cash write off for its investment. As a result of all of this, the firm expects pretax profit in 2022 to be ‘slightly’ below market expectations.

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DigitalBox PLC - Bath, England-based digital media company - Acquires the business and assets of thepoke.co.uk for an undisclosed amount. The Poke is a British satirical website, known for distributing viral videos about UK current affairs. DigitalBox says the acquisition provides a great opportunity to ‘strengthen its position within the satire/comedy space’. In the financial year ended November 2021, The Poke generated revenue of £170,000. DigitalBox expects to ‘materially enhance’ the contribution from The Poke in the medium term through integration with its Graphene technology platform, which it says has already helped to deliver a ‘strong’ return on its investment in The Tab.

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AEW UK REIT PLC - London-based real estate investment trust for UK regional commercial property - Acquires two retail assets in Bath and London. The first property in Bath is purchased at a price of £13 million, reflecting a capital value of £194 per square foot and a net initial yield of 8.5%. The London asset is purchased at a price of £5.3 million, reflecting a capital value of £101 per square foot and a net initial yield of 8.7%. Following the acquisitions, the company will have £7 million for other new purchases.

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Merit Group PLC - London-based, data technology company - In the six months ended September 30, reports a total comprehensive loss of £942,000, widening from £598,000 the previous year. Revenue from continuing operations rises to £9.2 million from £8.7 million year-on-year. Revenue from discontinued operations increases to £4.8 million from £3.6 million. Merit says the interim results are in line with expectations, despite some impact from Covid-19 and the conditions resulting from the war in Ukraine. Looking forward, Merit says it is ‘cautious’ given the high inflation and interest rate environment. Separately, the company announces the completed disposal of its Dods Media, Events and Training Operations for £4.5 million.

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Curzon Energy PLC - London-based investor and developer in US based natural gas projects - Says it is pursuing a strategy of identifying and agreeing terms of a potential reserve takeover of the business, while also exploring options in the oil and space for its historic Coos Bay coal bed methane project in the US state of Oregon. Curzon says it is continuing discussions with Poseidon Enhanced Technologies regarding a potential reserve takeover. However, it notes that PET’s formal exclusivity rights with Curzon have expired, allowing it to explore additional opportunities. Company continues its dialogue with two of the main leaseholders at Coos Bay for a potential renewal of the primary leases. Says it will update on progress ‘as appropriate’. Admits it is ‘disappointed with the lack of progress made to date’ on advancing a reserve takeover to completion, but acknowledged the impact of ‘turbulent’ market conditions which it says contributed to delays.

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Invinity Energy Systems PLC - London-based utility-grade energy storage manufacturer - Signs a reseller agreement with Taiwanese industrial technology firm Everdura Technology Co for an initial purchase order totalling 15 megawatt hours of vanadium flow batteries. The agreement includes the ability for Everdura to purchase a further 255 MWh of Invinity products for the of fulfilling follow-on orders over the next three years. As a reseller, Everdura will promote Invinity’s products throughout Taiwan and Southeast Asia, the firm explains. Adds that a deposit for the initial order is due shortly. First battery deliveries are expected to start in late 2023, with the majority of revenue associated with the project expected to be recognised in 2024.

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AFC Energy PLC - Surrey, England-based hydrogen power generation technologies provider - Appoints Peter Dixon-Clarke as its new chief financial officer, effective immediately. Dixon-Clarke takes over the role from Graeme Lewis who resigned as a director from December 1. AFC Energy announced its intention to appoint Dixon-Clarke on September 29. Prior to joining the firm, Dixon-Clarke was chief financial officer at AIM-listed vanadium flow battery company Invinity Energy Systems PLC.

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