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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Vertu Motors PLC - Gateshead, England-based car dealership chain - Pretax profit edges up 6.5% to £34.6 million in the financial year ended February 29, from £32.5 million a year prior. Revenue jumps 18% to £4.72 billion from £4.01 billion. Vertu recommends a final dividend to 1.50p from 1.45p a year prior, bringing the total payout 2.35p, up 9.3% from 2.15p. Chief Executive Officer Robert Forrester says: ‘Moving to the new financial year, March and April 2024 were successful months. The group delivered new retail like-for-like sales volumes ahead of the market decline in March and April. This demonstrates the robustness and strength of the group’s operations. Looking ahead, Vertu says it is encouraged by trading in the first two months of the current financial year 2025. ’The Fleet and Motability markets are likely to remain strong powered by financial tax incentives for battery electric vehicles and the need to push BEV product in channels other than retail,‘ CEO Forrester says. Further, the company agrees a new £3 million share buyback programme.

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Lords Group Trading PLC - distributor of building materials in the UK - Profit dives 77% to £3.0 million in 2023 from £12.8 million in 2022. Revenue climbs 2.8% to £462.6 million from £450.0 million. Cost of sales increases 2.5% to £370.2 million from £361.2 million, while administrative costs come in 12% higher at £61.3 million compared to £54.9 million. Notably, financial expenses increase 78% to £6.4 million from £3.6 million, while costs regarding exceptional items increase to £2.8 million from £929,000. Despite the fall in profit, the company maintains its total dividend at 2.0 pence per share. Lords says the first quarter of 2024 has begun with market conditions remaining uncertain as it was impacted by wet weather. Looking ahead, the company says it remains ’well placed to capture the UK’s transition to renewable energy sources in homes and the Board continues to be cautiously optimistic as to the group’s ability to gain market share via organic growth levers and value-added acquisition opportunities.‘

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Alba Mineral Resources PLC - Northern Europe-focused mineral explorer - Says it produced ’high-grade‘ gold from waste tip at its Clogau-St David’s gold mine in north Wales. Explains it recovered 5.33 grammes of gold per tonne at Trench 4. ’Gold production from the refinery has returned significantly higher grades from the waste tip than previous results had indicated, suggesting that previous laboratory assay results had significantly underrepresented the gold content of the tip and greatly enhancing the economic viability of mining the Waste Tip as a whole,‘ the firm says.

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Chariot Ltd - Africa-focused transitional energy company - Laments results from drilling of RZK-1 well on Gaufrette prospect onshore Morocco. Says the well will be plugged and abandoned as the reservoirs are largely interpreted to be water-bearing and sub-economic. Chariot says the rig will move to the second location of the campaign to drill the OBA-1 well at the Dartois prospect in the coming days. Technical Director Duncan Wallace says: ’Whilst the results of the Gaufrette well did not deliver a material gas accumulation, the presence of strong gas shows and excellent reservoir development is encouraging for future exploration in this area.‘

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European Green Transition PLC - London-based company focused on developing a portfolio of green assets across Europe - Notes ’encouraging‘ results from recent channel and grab sampling at Djupedal prospect within Olserum rare earth elements project in south Sweden. Company confirms three metres grading of 1.58% total rare earths oxide with 30% heavy rare earths elements oxide average. European Green highlights that new rock chip grab samples grading 1.5% and 1.04% TREO from a dipping shear structure affirm the new geological model. Chief Executive Officer Aiden Lavelle says: ’The results from this latest phase of sampling at the Olserum REE project confirm that the project has excellent potential to be expanded, with a large new zone and several drill targets defined at the Djupedal prospect 2.5 kilometres northwest of Olserum.‘

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Global Connectivity PLC - Isle of Man-based broadband provider to rural areas in the UK, formerly known as Rural Broadband Solutions PLC - Profit surges to £2.9 million in 2023 from £360,000 in 2022. This is due to a net gain on financial assets of £3.2 million in 2023, compared to none in 2022. Looking ahead, Chair Keith Harris says the company ’continues to seek out other opportunities to develop the market for rural broadband services.‘

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NetScientific PLC - deep tech and life sciences venture capital investor - Notes results of investee PDS Biotechnology Corp for the first quarter of 2024. PDS’s net loss increases 9.3% to $10.6 million from $9.7 million due to higher operating and net interest costs. Operating expenses increase 7.4% to $10.1 million from $9.4 million. PDS is a late-stage immunotherapy company focused on transforming how the immune system targets and kills cancers and the development of infectious disease vaccines. It has a novel investigational T cell activating platform named Versamune which effectively stimulates a precise immune system response to a cancer-specific protein. NetScientific has a 3.5% stake in PDS.

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Renalytix PLC - London-based diagnostics company focused on the management and testing of kidney disease through its KidneyIntelX platform - Net loss narrows 36% to $7.7 million in the third financial quarter ended March 31, from $12.1 million a year prior. Revenue falls 26% to $535 million from $724 million. Notably, loss from operations narrows 40% to $6.6 million from $10.9 million, as operating costs decrease 41% to $6.5 million from $11.0 million.

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Tekmar Group PLC - Darlington, England-based technology and services provider for global offshore energy markets - Noting an ’encouraging‘ half year, reports pretax loss narrows to £358,000 in the six months to March 31 from £1.2 million a year prior. Revenue edges up 1.9% to £16.2 million from £15.9 million, while cost of sales decrease 6.2% to £10.8 million from £11.5 million. Foreign exchange loss increases 2.3% to £801,000 from £783,000. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation surge to £1.8 million from £607,000, Tekmar’s best for four years, Chief Executive Officer Alasdair MacDonald highlights. He adds: ’Overall, these results demonstrate we now have a stronger platform to drive near-term growth and accelerate growth through targeted and potentially transformational mergers & acquisitions.‘

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ValiRx PLC - Life sciences company focused on early-stage cancer therapeutics and women’s health - Posts pretax loss of £2.3 million in 2023, narrowed from £2.6 million in 2022. ValiRx explains that it has no significant revenue so the narrowed loss is due to lower share-based payment charge. ValiRx had £174,684 cash on December 31, down from £1.1 million a year before. Looking ahead, ValiRx says: ’2024 will see another year of significant evolution, with the changes to the board composition providing an opportunity to harness new expertise and skills into the group, enabling further honing of the strategy to promote growth and development across all strands of the portfolio.‘

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