JD Wetherspoon (JDW) falls 2.1% to 794.5p on a 0.9% drop in pre-tax profit to £37.5 million in the 26 weeks to 25 January due to increased competition from supermarkets and higher pay and bonuses from pub staff. Like-for-like sales in the first six weeks of the second half have slowed to 1.6% which could drag on margins. Chairman Tim Martin says the strong second half of last financial year will be difficult to improve upon although he expects a 'reasonable' outcome for the full year.
A recapitalisation plan agreed with its lenders will see $300 million injected into Afren (AFR) by the end of June but will leave existing shareholders with 11% of the fully diluted share capital of the embattled African oil producer. The shares fall 17.5% to 5.34p.
Vodka bars operator Revolution Bars (RBG) prices its initial public offering at the lower end of expectations at 200p per share, valuing the company at £100 million. The group, which has been owned by private equity firm Alchemy for 10 years, will raise £86 million through the offer for selling shareholder Caspian Bidco. The shares have a lacklustre debut, stumbling at 200.5p
Distributor Diploma (DPLM) acquires Switzerland-headquartered Kubo Group for £22 million sending shares 1.6% higher to 778p. Kubo supplies seals, gaskets and rubber parts to industrial customers and made a £3.4 million pre-tax profit in 2014.
Travel and logistics specialist Dart Group (DTG) roars 18.3% higher to 365.5p as the Leeds-based £452.3 million cap says full-year results for the 12 months to the end of March will beat market expectations.
Recruiter SThree (STHR) says in a first quarter update that it has made a good start to 2015, helping shares 1% higher to 340p. Strong recruitment markets in technology and Life Sciences is offsetting weakness in the energy sector, says chief executive Gary Elden.
Savannah Resources (SAV:AIM) rises 6.1% after finding high copper grades and medium gold grades at its project in Oman. Don't get carried away as these are only rock chip samples. Any good analyst or geologist will tell you that miners have frequently failed to find the same quality grades once they've started drilling into the ground.
Paragon Diamonds (PRG:AIM) advances 4.7% to 5.85p after revealing potential acquisition plans, although it neglects to give further details apart from saying it is located in Africa and has a 'validated' resource. It talks about potential synergies by combining management teams, so one could assume the target asset is close to its flagship Lemphane project in Lesotho.
Kibo Mining (KIBO:AIM) jumps 5% to 5.25p after saying it has started reviewing data from an aerial survey of a nickel project in Tanzania. Investors are clearly hoping this work will result in positive news, such as new drill targets.
Cell therapy specialist Oxford BioMedica (OXB:AIM) advances 2.2% to 10p on pre-tax losses shrinking 14.9% to £10.8 million in 2014. N+S Singer isn't a fan, saying: 'A significant capex programme is ongoing in order to expand the group’s manufacturing capacity. We believe this will act as a strain on the cash balance.'
Offshore investor Picton Property Income (PCTN) slides 1.5% to 70.8p on plans to raise £10 million through a placing at 68.5p a share – a 4.9% discount to last night's closing price. The proceeds will fund new asset acquisitions.
Telematics kit manufacturing minnow Trakm8 (TRAK:AIM) ticks a penny higher to 110p on news over 100,000 units are now reporting to its servers for the first time since formation in 2001, a milestone achievement amid growing demand from customers.