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Proactive news headlines: Iofina, ECSC Group, Kromek Group, Zoetic International …

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) has revealed it moved into a profit in 2019 after record iodine production for a second year running. In a statement covering the period for the year to December 31, 2019, the chemicals group reported revenues that rose by 22% to US$29.2mln while there was a pre-tax profit of US$600,000 compared to a loss of US$1.1mln. Net debt also fell to US$18.2mln from US$25.6mln and chief executive Tom Becker said the 2019 performance had left it in a "stronger position than ever from which to resolve its current debt situation".

ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC) saw its shares move higher on Wednesday as the group announced the launch of its new Nebula Cloud cybersecurity breach detection service. The AIM-listed firm said Nebula Cloud will enable users to collect, store, and use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse IT system logs and generate 24/7 alerts to potential cybersecurity breaches.

Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) said it has been awarded an extension to its contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to detect and identify pathogens in an urban environment. The detection technology specialist said under the new deal it will be awarded up to US$5.2mln to further work on its mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system capable of detecting airborne pathogens. The extension follows completion of the base period of the DARPA contract which was awarded in December 2018 to develop a vehicle-mounted biological threat identifier.

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) said it has signed a deal with Path Investments PLC to sell its 75% interest in DT Ultravert (DTU), a method for hydrocarbon well stimulation and protection, as well as its nitrogen assets in Kansas. The cannabidiol (CBD) products firm said under the deal Path will issue Zoetic with 15mln new shares together with warrants to subscribe for a further 15mln Path shares at 1.5p each at any time between the first and third anniversaries of the completion of the transaction. Path has also agreed to pay Zoetic royalties equal to 5% of all gross revenues derived from the DTU technology attributable to the 75% interest in perpetuity.

Argentex Group PLC (LON:AGFX), a provider of foreign exchange services to institutions, corporates and high net worth private individuals, has announced the completion of terms for a new London headquarters as momentum behind its growth strategy gathers pace. The group said the new headquarters – located at 25 Argyll Street, London, and managed by W.RE. – will support the significant expansion of headcount across all areas as Argentex recruits to meet the growing demand from its diversified client base for its leading foreign exchange services and advice.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) has joined forces with the British Airways pension fund to buy a 25.5% stake in one of the UKs largest portfolio of J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) stores. The 50:50 joint venture will pay vendor British Land PLC (LON:BLND) £102mln for the stake in the portfolio, which comprises 26 Sainsbury stores predominately based in London and the south-east. After the transaction, Sainsbury's will own 49% of the freeholds of the properties, insurance group Aviva 25.5% and the JV the remaining 25.5%.

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) said its licence agreement with Bayer Animal Health has been amended as there will be increased investment in the project, in part financed by Eden's successful March fundraise. The biopesticides group will also contribute its expertise in bio-active substances to the formulation development process. The pair are working on an animal shampoo, a conditioner, a spray, and an ear flush using Edens encapsulation technology.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) told investors it has entered into an added value services agreement' with EIT InnoEnergy to assist project financing for the Mina do Barroso project, in Portugal. EIT InnoEnergy is part of a business investment platform (BIP) launched in September to accelerate the development of Europes battery industry. The aim of the BIP is to facilitate some €70bn of investments into EU based battery-related projects that will be required to meet peak European demand by 2023, Savannah noted.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) (TSE:TXP) told investors it has entered into escrow for a US$20mln seven-year loan with Trinidad and Tobagos Republic Bank Limited. The loan will carry interest of 7.85%, payable quarterly in arrears, and is secured against the companys assets and subsidiaries. "We are pleased to be able to source local financing from Republic Bank, the largest lender in Trinidad and the Caribbean,” said Scott Budau, Touchstone chief financial officer in a statement.

In a separate statement after the close on Tuesday, Touchstone Exploration also announced that on May 22, 2020, certain employees exercised share options representing a total of 101,400 common shares of no par value in the company.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) has told investors that average output from the 25%-owned Tawke production sharing contract in Kurdistan, Iraq is expected to reduce down to 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2020, assuming new wells arent drilled to arrest the natural decline. Without new wells the 2020 exit rate is forecast to be marked at around 80,000 bopd. In the first quarter, production from Tawke amounted to 115,210 bopd and in the second it was down to 100,000 bopd, while for the remainder of 2020 it is predicted at around 90,000 bopd.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has now completed the second of its lockdown acquisitions, sealing the deal to acquire 6,100 US wells from Carbon Energy Corporation. It paid US$110mln gross – US$98mln net – to acquire the package of wells which yield around 9,100 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) along with associated midstream and infrastructure assets, adding 4,700 miles of mid-stream with “flow optionality and margin-enhancing opportunities”. This completion comes just a day after DGOC completed a separate but similar acquisition of assets from EQT Corporation for US$112mln, to add 9,000 boe per day from 900 wells.

Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK), the specialist alloy producer, said the business rescue practitioners in Mogale, South Africa has informed all stakeholders that the request to postpone the publication date for the proposed business rescue plan has been supported by the requisite majority of creditors. The group also noted that production on the P1 furnace has also resumed in the meantime.

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) said it has appointed a new nominated adviser (Nomad) and a non-executive director as well as updating on the status of its shares, which are currently suspended from trading on AIM. The company said it has appointed SP Angel as its nomad and joint broker with immediate effect, and added that qualified lawyer and experienced corporate financier Iain Rawlinson will join the board as a non-executive director. Meanwhile, the company said it will make a further announcement in due course regarding the status of CITIC Merchant Co Limiteds role and strategic options in its current mining assets, and that its shares will remain suspended pending further notification.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) said it has terminated its strategic review and formal sales process as a result of “ongoing disruption” caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft leasing firm said it had been engaged with multiple interested parties as part of the sales process, but as a result of market conditions, these have been delayed. Avation noted that the coronavirus lockdown has continued to disrupt business activities, particularly air travel, on an unprecedented scale and that market volatility remained high with an uncertain outlook for the global economy in the short term As a result, Avation said it had concluded that a formal sales process at present was “unlikely to produce an outcome that accurately reflects the long-term value of the company at a value that is attractive to shareholders”.

Nuformix PLC (LON:NFX) unveiled a new development agreement on Wednesday, alongside a trading update which demonstrated the resilience of the group's business during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Nuformix, which unlocks the therapeutic potential of known drugs, has teamed up with Nasdaq-listed VistaGen Therapeutics. The pair will work on new crystalline forms of VistaGens AV-101, which is being developed to treat conditions including neuropathic pain and epilepsy. Turning to current trading, Nuformix chief executive, Dr Dan Gooding, said last years £1.25mln fundraise and the business low operating costs, meant the firm was “well-placed to ride out the current worldwide issues”.

Amur Minerals Corporation LON:AMUR), the nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and development company focused on the far east of Russia, has raised £0.5mln, before expenses, through a share placing to progress the development of the Kun-Manie nickel-copper sulphide project. The placing of 47,619,048 ordinary shares of no par value at a price of 1.05p each was undertaken by SP Angel acting as the companys broker.

The Brunner Investment Trust PLC (LON:BUT) announced the appointment of Douglas Armstrong as an alternate independent, non-executive director for Carolan Dobson with immediate effect until the conclusion of the company's annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday. It noted that Armstrong, a solicitor at Dickson Minto W.S., the company's lawyers, would act as chairperson of the meeting. In a separate statement, Brunner Investment Trust announced that all the resolutions put to shareholders at the AGM were passed.

Filta Group Holdings PLC (LON:FLTA), a provider of fryer management and other services to commercial kitchens, confirmed that it will announce its 2019 full-year results on Thursday, May 28. The company said it will also be hosting a conference call for private investors on June 1, 2020, at 4pm UK local time, where its CEO, Jason Sayers, will lead a presentation covering the 2019 financial results, followed by a question and answer session, though no new material information will be provided. Investors are asked to RSVP to take part in the call and submit any advance questions by 8.00am on June 1 via the following link: https://forms.gle/BT2E4G2hdeJ8veg57

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) , the specialist drug development company delivering targeted small molecule therapeutics to improve the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, has announced that its CEO, Dr Tim Mitchell, will give a company presentation at BIO Digital 2020, which will be delivered on-line from June 8-12, 2020. The presentation will highlight Sareum's two proprietary TYK2/JAK1 kinase inhibitor programmes, SDC-1801 and SDC-1802, targeting autoimmune diseases and cancers, respectively.

Circassia Group PLC (LON:CIR) has announced that the mandatory 30 day waiting period for US anti-trust clearance expired at midnight on May 26 and, accordingly, the proposed transfer of the Tudorza and Duaklir assets to AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) first announced on April 9, 2020, is now expected to complete during the course of the next three days. A further announcement will be made once completion has taken place.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM), the technology and software investment company, has announced that further to its announcement of May 14, 2020, Keith Todd, the groups executive chairman and CEO, Kim Suter, its chief financial officer, and Steve SparRead More – Source