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EARNINGS AND TRADING: Wincanton profit down; James Cropper ups payout

9th Nov 2023 12:54

(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of earnings and trading updates by London-listed companies, issued on Thursday and not separately reported by Alliance News:

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Wincanton PLC - Wiltshire, England-based logistics firm - Revenue in half-year ended September 30 down 7.8% on-year to GBP694.7 million from GBP753.6 million 12 months earlier. Pretax profit falls 26% to GBP19.1 million from GBP25.8 million. Wincanton maintains its interim dividend at 4.4 pence per share. The firm says: "[The] 7.8% revenue reduction from prior year reflecting the group's strategic shift out of closed book transport contracts and towards digitally enabled 4PL solutions." It believes it can achieve revenue and profit in line with market expectations for the full-year.

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James Cropper PLC - Cumbria, England-based paper, packaging and advanced materials manufacturer - Revenue in half-year ended September 30 declines 8.3% on-year to GBP56.5 million from GBP61.6 million. Swings to pretax profit of GBP2.4 million from GBP900,000 loss, however. James Cropper ups its interim dividend to 3.0 pence from 2.0p. Chief Executive Officer Steve Adams says: "We have achieved a healthy first half performance with benefits from our accelerated growth strategy now becoming evident, following considerable hard work and commitment by the James Cropper team. In spite of ongoing wider macro-economic pressures and softer demand across paper, the actions taken to streamline the business and focus on higher margin opportunities have helped deliver an improvement in profitability. Advanced Materials continues to perform well with Future Energy again exceeding expectations."

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Fusion Antibodies PLC - Belfast-based contract research organisation providing discovery, design and optimisation services for therapeutic antibodies to the healthcare market - Cautions that an easing of constraints in the first half ended September 30 "has not materialised as quickly as expected". Fusion adds: "Consequently, trading conditions remain very challenging and revenue for H1 FY2024 is expected to be behind current market expectations, at not less than GBP541,000. Towards the end of the period, several projects were subject to certain technical challenges which required additional work to be undertaken, thereby pushing some of the expected H1 recognised revenue into H2. The remainder of the shortfall was due to a delayed project initiation. Nevertheless, the Company has achieved a marked growth in the sales pipeline with overall values now standing at approximately four times that of six months ago." Says lower-than-expected first-half outturn has been offset by cost control, so its cash runway expectations are unchanged.

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Chill Brands Group PLC - Colorado, US-based CBD products company - Says its Chill ZERO nicotine-free vapour products will launch on Vape Local this month. "Vape Local is one of the UK's leading wholesale websites for vaping products, serving a rapidly growing network of over 4,000 retail store accounts. In joining the site, Chill ZERO nicotine-free products will gain exposure to thousands of potential stockists spread across the entirety of the country," it adds.

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Vinanz Ltd - British Virgin Islands-registered bitcoin mining company - Raises GBP350,000 at 3.0 pence per share, a 4.4% premium to its Wednesday closing price of 2.88p. Funds will be used to acquire 250 additional bitcoin miners which will "approximately triple the company's current bitcoin mining fleet in North America".

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PPHE Hotel Group Ltd - London-based hotel and resort operator - Plots March 2024 open for premium lifestyle flagship art'otel London Hoxton. "The opening follows the art'otel brand's successful London debut at Battersea Power Station in February 2023, and in Zagreb in October 2023. art'otel Rome is set to open in H1 2024, further illustrating the significant opportunity within the group's GBP300+ million development pipeline," PPHE says.

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Nightcap PLC - London-based owner of Cocktail Club, Adventure Bar and Barrio Familia chains - Says eight of 10 Dirty Martini existing leases have been assigned to company. One lease previously operated by DC Bars Ltd has not. This is in Hanover Square, London, after the landlord did not agree to reduce rental costs to "make the site profitable". Nightcap adds: "The company has entered into a new three year lease for the Tuttons restaurant and Dirty Martini Covent Garden site. This lease covers a restaurant lease as well as the small downstairs cocktail bar. The new lease is on considerably more favourable commercial terms and is in line with Nightcap's objective to not remain as a restaurant operator in the long term." Nightcap added the Dirty Martini brand to its portfolio in June after buying both DC Bars and Tuttons Brasserie Ltd for up to GBP4.7 million.

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Knights Group Holdings PLC - Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire-based legal and professional services firm - Agrees new extended revolving credit facility with HSBC UK, Allied Irish Bank (GB) and NatWest. Facility provides total committed funding of GBP70 million until November 2025. Knights says the loan gives it "headroom and flexibility to continue to execute our strategy".

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European Metals Holdings Ltd - Czechia-focused mineral exploration and development company - Says pilot programme has "confirmed industrial viability" for lithium chemical plant process flowsheet at Cinovec project. Says "exceptionally clean battery grade lithium carbonate produced". "Work to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate is underway," the firm adds. Cadence Minerals PLC, a 5.6% shareholder in EMH, notes the announcement.

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Genel Energy PLC - Kurdistan-focused oil and gas exploration and production company - Says DNO ASA, operator of Tawke asset which Genel has a 25% working interest in, says field has gradually reopened and deliveries to local trading companies in Kurdistan region of Iraq have "stepped-up". The update comes after the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline was closed in March. "The Tawke field was reopened on 18 July, and gross production from the Tawke licence in Q3 2023 totalled 25,984 barrels of oil per day. Production continues to increase; so far in the fourth quarter output is averaging double the level of the third quarter, with the Peshkabir field having restarted production on 16 October," Genel says.

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By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor

Comments and questions to [email protected]

Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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