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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Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC - London-based bank - Says continues to benefit from business model under which a return of a higher Bank of England base rate leads to higher revenue on the company’s lending and excess liquidity. Loan balances including leased assets at April 30 grow to £2.23 billion from £2.06 billion a year prior. Assets under management as at April 30 climb 3.8% to £1.38 billion from £1.33 billion at December 31.

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Artisanal Spirits Co PLC - Edinburgh, Scotland-based distiller of single-cask and limited-edition whisky and owner of Scotch Malt Whisky Society - Notes that revenue has returned to growth in the second quarter, after a ‘broadly flat start to the year’. Anticipates growth to continue for rest of half year. Adds that membership is up 10% annually at the end of April, sitting at over 38,000. Positively notes signs of recovery in China and successful launch of new franchise in South Korea. Emphasises a new Taiwan subsidiary due to launch in the third quarter of 2023. Says is on course to meet consensus market expectations for 2023 of £25.2 million in revenue, up from £21.8 million in 2022, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £1.1 million, compared to adjusted Ebitda of £394,000 in 2021.

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Kendrick Resources PLC - London-based mineral exploration and development company - Notes nickel equivalent find at Stormyra nickel-copper deposit in Espedalen, Norway. Finds 5.5% nickel equivalent. Executive Chair Colin Bird says: ‘Based on the geophysical data we have potentially several hundred metres of strike length to test to broadly delineate the Stormyra orebody. We also have a further 10 high quality nickel targets within our licence that all have drill intercepts that exceed 1% nickel. We are investigating each target and prioritising them ahead of further drilling.’

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More Acquisitions PLC - special purpose acquisition company - Withdraws from planned £31.5 acquisition of Megasteel Ltd which was announced Monday, citing ‘totally unacceptable’ abusive and threatening behaviour by parties claiming to be More Acquisitions shareholders towards Megasteel’s management. ‘The directors believe that termination of the Acquisition at this very late stage, after over eight months of successful due diligence, is not only deeply disappointing but was also entirely avoidable. But for the completely unacceptable and profoundly offensive actions of certain individuals, all More shareholders would shortly have had a chance to individually decide whether or not to approve the Acquisition,’ More Acquisitions says. Company adds that it plans to lift suspension of trading in shares as soon as possible. Executive Director Rod McIllree says: ‘The termination of the proposed Megasteel deal represents a massive, wasted opportunity; not only for More shareholders, who have now been deprived of their right to decide on the Acquisition, and potentially benefit from it, but also for the wider London stock market.’

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Mortgage Advice Bureau Holdings PLC - London-based mortgage broker - Says in the first quarter of 2023, value of completions in wider market was 21% lower in new mortgage lending compared to a year prior. However, says: ‘We have continued to grow our market share, which has been achieved despite a reduction in the number of advisers since Q4 2022.’ Adds that during the six months after the UK government’s ’mini-budget’ of September 2022, new mortgage approvals across the market were down by as much as 40% year-on-year. ‘There are early signs of increasing activity and mortgage approval levels have now gradually started to improve, but remain significantly lower than for the equivalent period last year,’ Mortgage Advice says.

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PCI-PAL PLC - Suffolk, England-based global cloud provider of secure payment solutions for business communications - Reports ‘continued strong momentum with excellent performance across its key metrics’ for the current financial year 2023 ending on June 30. Emphasises new customer contracts which it won in the second financial half, such as enterprise deals in the US where it notes ‘accelerated growth of its sales pipeline’. Meanwhile, PCI-PAL refutes ‘unfounded patent infringement claims’ regarding a patent infringement claim by Sycurio Ltd against the company, with a UK trial scheduled for eight days from June 12. A ruling is expected up to four months after that.

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Velocity Composites PLC - Burnley, England-based supplier of composite material kits to aerospace and other high-performance manufacturers, with the kits aiming to reduce all forms of waste from the composites supply chain - Says trading in the six months to April 30 has been in line with expectations. Anticipates sales of £7.0 million, up 15% annually. ‘Demand is steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels, building on the momentum reported in recent results as the global aerospace industry recovers and original equipment manufacturer forecast production rates grow,’ firm says. Adds that while macroeconomic conditions impacted margins, it successfully agreed price increases with key customers. Velocity says: ‘Outside the US, there also remain significant opportunities for European growth through current UK customers and increased usage of our established European manufacturing capability. The company has already contracted UK and US business which, when in full production (at current OEM run rates), will significantly increase revenue from current levels.’ Velocity expects to release its half-year results on July 11.

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