London’s FTSE 100 edged 8.6 points higher to 7,549.4 on Thursday with investors in cautious mood ahead of the holiday season and the Bank of England’s interest rate decision at midday, with no change to the cost of borrowing anticipated. Markets seemed to shrug their shoulders following the impeachment of Donald Trump, who became only the third President in US history to be impeached.

Family-controlled engineer Goodwin (GDWN) crashed 19.2% lower to £28.60 after posting a disappointing 5.1% drop in half year pre-tax profit to £7.4m as well as a rise in net debt and warning investors can expect flat profits for the next six months.

The Stoke-on-trent-headquartered company blamed the UK’s political shenanigans for temporary project delays as well as the US-China trade war for a drop off in demand for the jewellery products for which it supplies the casting powder.

The good news is that given some clarity over Brexit, Goodwin believes it can start to capitalise on the success it has achieved in securing large amounts of business from new market areas.

Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR:AIM) slumped 13% to 18.2p on the news BeyondAir has terminated its licensing agreement for the commercial rights to the late-stage ventilator-compatible nitric oxide product LungFit PH in the US and China ‘for material breach’.

Unloved biotech Circassia, which focuses on treatments for respiratory disease, said it ‘refutes the allegations in the strongest terms and believes there are no grounds to terminate the agreement’ and will ‘enforce its rights under the agreement and defend its position vigorously’.

Fellow biotech business PureTech Health (PRTC) ticked 5p higher to 275p after flagging up positive results from affiliate company Follica’s clinical study in male androgenetic alopecia.

Elsewhere, Stock Spirits (STCK) softened 0.6p to 199.4p after its second largest investor, Western Gate Private investments, called on the vodka, brandy and rum producer to pay a special dividend and review its policies for capital allocation, acquisitions and dividends.

Western Gate represents the private family office of Portuguese businessman Luis Amaral and has repeatedly sought to change Stock Spirits’ policies and management.

Gas heating, electrical and building services provider Bilby (BILB:AIM) rocketed 20% higher to 24.25p as first half results demonstrated turnaround progress under new chief executive David Bullen.

A robust performance saw Bilby deliver underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £2.1m in the traditionally quieter first half. And for the full year, Bullen and the board remain confident of at least maintaining underlying revenues of £59m with an underlying EBITDA of ‘not less than £4.5m’.

Digital performance publisher XLMedia (XLM:AIM) plunged 17.8% to 48.5p on a warning annual adjusted EBITDA for 2020 will be ‘materially lower’ than previous management expectations as spending rises to support the next phase of growth.

Amryt Pharma (AMYT:AIM) added 2p to trade at 110.5p following a positive update on the integration of recent acquisition Aegerion Pharmaceuticals.

Encouragingly, cash of $60.9m is ‘significantly ahead’ of the company’s expectations following a recent $57m fundraise, while Amryt has also said enrolment is progressing well under the Phase III EASE trial, which is assessing the use of AP101 in the rare skin disorder Epidermolysis Bullosa.

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Issue Date: 19 Dec 2019