Online retailer MandM Direct is set to become the latest listed play on the structurally-attractive value sector. Selling well-known brands including Converse trainers and Diesel jeans at up to 75% markdowns from the recommended retail price, the profitable company, guided by former John Lewis online chief Jonathon Brown, has announced its intention to float on Aim via a £12.5 million placing to pay down debt and fund expansion.
Oil explorer Bowleven (BLVN:AIM) gains 11.6% to 37.7p as it secures a formal resolution confirming the support of the Cameroon government for the its Etinde Exploitation Authorisation application. This is an important milestone in the development of the 350 million barrel of oil equivalent Etinde gas and condensate resource offshore Cameroon as we discuss in more detail here.
Punch Taverns (PUB) rises 7.1% to 11.25p as it sells five pubs for more than twice their book value.
A decent third quarter trading update helps to lift builders' merchant Wolseley (WOS) by 2.7% to £33.98. It reports a strong US and Nordics performance, a cautious tone on the UK and tougher times elsewhere.
London-focused estate agency Foxtons (FOXT) drops 2.9% to 320p as chief executive Michael Brown steps down after 12 years for personal reasons. He remains a non-executive and will be replaced by chief operating officer Nic Budden from next month.
Infrastructure-to-regeneration consultant WYG (WYG) reports an improvement in full-year margins, profit and the resumption of its dividend. The company has also won a big project in Libya that could last up to three years and be worth £28 million. The shares rise 3% to 114.88p.
Iron ore producer London Mining (LOND:AIM) slumps 10.8% to 37.25p after pulling non-essential staff from Sierra Leone due to an outbreak of the Ebola fever in the country. The small cap insists production at its Marampa mine is not affected but investors are clearly worried given the share price reaction.
Structural steel specialist Severfield (SFR) falls 2.9% to 54.9p as it reports a 27.3% year-on-year fall in revenues to £231.3 million for the 12 months to the end of March and confirms its Indian joint venture is still not performing to expectations. This overshadowed a stabilised order book; a full-year margin of 3.3% which is significant progress towards management's stated 5-6% target by full year 2016; and a narrowing in the pre-tax loss from £28.9 million to £4.1 million.
Prospective underground coal gasification (UCG) play Cluff Natural Resources (CLNR:AIM) is up 12.5% to 4.22p with investors reacting to yesterday's bullish initiation on the stock by Panmure Gordon which whacked a punchy 13p price target on the shares. The company, founded by resources entrepreneur Algy Cluff, has five near-shore deep UCG licences in the UK.
Aspiring metals producer Amur Minerals (AMC:AIM) says Russia scrapping export taxes on certain nickel and copper products means it can look at broader metallurgical options for its Kun-Manie project in the far east of the country. The shares jump 3.7% to 2.98p.
German skin disease treatment developer Biofrontera (B8F:AIM) begins life as an Aim-listed firm. The company did not raise any fresh capital from the move which has valued the business at €69.9 million.