CVS Group gets pat on the head as it reveals trading is slightly ahead of expectations

Investors gave CVS Group PLC (LON:CVSG) a pat on the head after an upbeat trading statement at the veterinary services provider's annual general meeting.

The shares rose 9.3% to 1,129p after the company said like-for-like year-on-year sales growth in the four months to the end of October had increased to 8.0% from 5.2% in the year to the end of June.

“The board is naturally pleased with the core Practices Division like-for-like sales performance in the financial year to date and with the trading performance of the group being slightly ahead of management's expectations for the first four months,” the company's chairman, Richard Connell, told shareholders.

12.30pm: Rurelec surges after receiving partial repayment of a loan

Shares in power plant developer Rurelec Plc (LON:RUR) rose 7.4% to 0.725p after it received US$640,000 as partial repayment of a loan.

The repayment follows agreements announced last week with Basic Energy Limited and other parties regarding a new schedule for the repayment of unsecured debts owed by Patagonia Energy Limited (PEL) to Rurelec and Basic Energy.

Rurelec cautioned that the timing of any future payments is not certain as it is dependant on the potential future cash generation ability of EdS and the potential future existence of exchange controls that may restrict the ability of Rurelec subsidiary Energía del Sur to transmit funds to PEL.

11.30am: Even bookmakers can make a loss …

Webis Holdings PLC (LON:WEB) proved it is possible for bookmakers to lose money – and shareholders, too, as the shares tumbled 7.1% to 1.3p.

In the year to the end of May the operator of the web site posted a loss before tax of US$930,000, versus a profit the year before of US$103,000.

The amounts wagered figure slumped to US$136,353 from US$461,154 the previous year, due to the loss of a large wagering syndicate as previously reported to shareholders in October.

10.30am: ImmuPharma shoots up after it inks US licensing deal for flagship drug Lupuzor

ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) shares shot up 269% to 26p after it landed a licensing deal worth almost US$100mln.

The deal is for Lupuzor, its treatment for the autoimmune disease lupus.

US speciality drugs group Avion Pharmaceuticals will fund the US$25mln costs of a reformatted phase III clinical trial next year following agreement of the trial design with the US Food & Drug Administration.

9.30am: Vitec hit by destocking; profit warning halves Malver's shares

Shares in photography and broadcast products specialist Vitec Group PLC (LON:VTC) slumped 11% to 1,005p after it issued a profit warning.

The group said 2019's financial performance is likely to be affected by two one-off events. First, retail de-stocking in Imaging Solutions has been unusually severe. Second, there is a slower than expected trading recovery at SmallHD, following the fire in April 2018 and the ending of the receipt of insurance income.

As a result, the group's adjusted profit before tax for 2019 is now expected to be in the range of £47.0mln to £50.0mln. The median forecast among brokers who follow the stock was for a profit before tax of £53.2mln.

A more severe reaction to a profit warning hit Malvern International PLC (LON:MLVN), the educational courses provider.

The shares halved after the company warned that revenue growth in the second half of the year has not been as strong as expected.

The group, which is looking to sell its Malaysian operation, said that full-year revenues are now expected to be only modestly ahead year-on-year – with a bigger increase if the Malaysian operation is excluded – while the board expects to report a positive underlying earnings (EBITDA) figure for the year – adjusted for one-off integration, restructuring costs and operations in Malaysia.

Proactive news headlines:

ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) has landed a licensing deal worth almost US$100mln for Lupuzor, its treatment for the autoimmune disease lupus. US speciality drugs group Avion Pharmaceuticals will fund the US$25mln costs of a reformatted phase III clinical trial next year following agreement of the trial design with the US Food & Drug Administration. The UK group will receive up to US$70mln of milestone payments, with US$5mln due on regulatory approval of the product and a further US$65mln dependent on sales targets.

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) saw its shares soar on Thursday following news that influential Emirati Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum will invest £500,000 into the company. The AIM-listed energy group said following the investment Al Maktoum will hold an 11.5% stake in the company, with warrants that will allow him to expand this stake to 22.3%. Al Maktoums investment forms part of a larger placing to raise £700,000 by issuing shares at 0.25p each, an 8.7% premium to Oracles closing price on Wednesday.

OPG Power Ventures PLC (LON:OPG) told investors it has successfully continued its strategy of deleveraging whilst focusing on its profitable long-life assets in Channai. The India-based power generator, in results for six months ended 30 September, reported an 8.9% increase in profit from continuing operations to £7.4mln, while earnings per share rose by 23.1% to 1.97p. First-half revenue amounted to £78.4mln, compared to £77.9mln in the same period of last year, and, pre-tax profit was reported at £9.7mln for the period.

Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (LON:FARN) said regulators have given the company the green light to expand a phase I/II clinical trial of its cancer immunotherapy to the US. It follows the Food & Drug Administrations approval of Clevegen as an investigational new drug. American patients will now be recruited to Farons MATINS study, which will assess the tolerability, safety and potential efficacy of the new treatment in people with certain types of solid tumour.

W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) has kicked off tungsten and tin production at its La Parrilla mine in Spain, with its boss saying he is “pleased with the initial concentrate grades”. In an update on Thursday, the tungsten, tin and gold miner said that its new concentrator has been completed and is producing tungsten grades to “shipment criteria levels”, which are expected to improve as the plant reaches steady-state production.

Bahamas Petroleum Company (LON:BPC) has said it is on-track to start drilling on-schedule as it updated on two key developments in country. In a stock market statement, the exploration company highlighted that a new Bahamian-domiciled mutual fund is to be established to exclusively hold shares in Bahamas Petroleum. Separately, BPC also updated on the environmental authorisation process which is said to be “proceeding to schedule”, consistent with the drilling timetable.

discoverIE Group PLC (LON:DSCV) has delivered a 22% rise in first-half profits as its target markets continued to grow their share of its revenue stream. For the six months ended 30 September, the customised electronics maker delivered an underlying operating profit of £17.7mln, 22% higher than the prior year, while revenues climbed 10% to £232mln.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has re-jigged the ownership structure of its Chiadzwa diamond concession in Zimbabwe. Consultancy partner Botswana Diamonds PLC (LON:BOD) will now have a 2.5% stake and Vast 97.5% in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will house the assets in Maranges diamond fields. As part of this new agreement, BOD will supply consultancy services free of charge for five years while Vast will provide all capital requirements up to US$10mln.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) posted sharply lower profits in the year just ended as lower production and weaker chrome prices hit revenues. Production of both platinum metals and chrome dipped due to disruption at the Tharisa mine caused by investments in the pit and fleet. PGM production was 139,000oz, down 8%, while chrome output was 11% below the previous year at 1.29Mt.

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