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EARNINGS: Aurora hails AI potential; Technology Minerals optimistic

27th Mar 2024 14:48

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

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Aurora Investment Trust PLC - London-based investment trust and alternative investment fund - Net asset value per share jumps 35% to 274.34 pence as at December 31, from 203.45p a year prior. NAV total return for 2023 is 36.3%, sharply outperforming its benchmark, the FTSE All Share index, which had a total return of 7.9%. Top contributors were Barratt Developments PLC and Frasers Group PLC. Noting the current development of artificial intelligence and potential improvements to cost-effectiveness, company says: "Many of these improvements will not give a permanent competitive advantage and so the value is most likely to flow to consumers, but for businesses with strong economic moats and pricing power these improvements will flow to shareholders."

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Gelion PLC - London-based battery technology company - Pretax loss narrows 17% to GBP4.1 million in the six months to December 31, from GBP4.9 million a year prior. Administrative expenses decrease 31% to GBP1.5 million from GBP2.1 million, while research & development costs decrease 25% to GBP1.7 million from GBP2.3 million. Looking ahead, Chief Executive Officer John Wood says: "In terms of Gelion's zinc technology, consistent progress is being made toward the research objectives that must be achieved before establishing a decision to recommence preparations for commercial prototyping activities. This research will assess the technology's likely boundary performance conditions and, given this, we are revisiting the company's commercial match-to-market assumptions using direct industry engagement. This research is being undertaken to allow the company to make informed decisions and will form part of a technical and commercial summary update to Gelion's investors once complete in the coming months."

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Logistics Development Group PLC - London-based logistics sector-focused investor - Swings to pretax loss of GBP10.7 million in the financial year ended November 30, from a profit of GBP1.1 million a year prior. This is on the back of a GBP10.9 million loss on investments measured at fair value, compared to a gain of GBP2.0 million in financial 2022. Meanwhile, incurs GBP1.3 million in income in financial 2023, compared to none a year prior. Looking ahead, Chair Adrian Collins is cautious: "As I write, it is true to say that the world is not a happy place. We have conflicts on almost every continent, and interest rates and inflation levels not experienced for two decades although there is some evidence that both might have peaked. Several significant elections are taking place across the globe over the next 12 months, and this is likely to cause greater uncertainty."

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Norman Broadbent PLC - London-based recruitment firm - Swings to a pretax profit in 2023 of GBP309,000 from a loss of GBP338,000 in 2022. This tracks revenue rising 41% to GBP12.3 million from GBP8.7 million, partially offset by operating expenses rising 34% to GBP10.2 million from GBP7.6 million and cost of sales rising 21% to GBP1.7 million from GBP1.4 million. Operating expenses increase 34% to GBP10.2 million from GBP7.6 million. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Davidson comments: "We have taken the opportunity to invest further in the company, hiring exceptional people and building our platform to take advantage of the market rebound when it comes. Our ambition remains steadfast and we will continue to pursue our aggressive growth strategy, whilst remaining profitable and cash positive, both organically and potentially through synergistic merger & acquisition opportunities...Supported by our considerable brand strength and market leading processes and technologies, we are well-positioned for continued success."

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Pharos Energy PLC - London-based oil and gas exploration and production company - Chief Executive Officer Jann Brown intends to retire from the board on April 30, with Pharos Energy set to start a search for a successor soon. Brown will remain in her position as CEO for a smooth transition. Meanwhile, firm posts 2023 results. The company swings to a pretax loss of USD29.0 million in 2023 from a profit of USD80.6 million. Revenue falls 16% to USD167.9 million from USD199.1 million. Cost of sales decrease 4.8% to USD111.2 million from USD116.8 million. Administrative expenses decrease 10% to USD9.0 million from USD10.0 million. Notably, cites an impairment charge of USD58.9 million regarding property, plant & equipment, compared to an impairment reversal of USD27.1 million in 2022. Outgoing CEO Brown says: "Looking ahead, we are advancing plans to drill the potentially transformational Block 125 in Vietnam, and we look forward to updating shareholders on progress. In the meantime, we continue to execute on our strategy, including continuing on our recently published roadmap to net zero, of delivering value for all stakeholders in 2024 and beyond."

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Technology Minerals PLC - London-based battery metals and recycling firm - Pretax loss widens to GBP1.5 million in the six months to December 31, from GBP692,000 a year prior. Reports net finance charges of GBP398,000, compared to a gain of GBP42,000 a year prior. "Technology Minerals has made significant progress over the last six months, which has further solidified its position as a key player in the transition to net zero as the world continues to electrify in 2024. The board is pleased to have seen excellent progress at Recyclus, which has hit significant milestones including the completion of the commissioning phase at its cutting-edge Wolverhampton Li-ion battery recycling plant, in addition to beginning the commissioning phase at the Tipton lead acid facility," the company says. Regarding Recyclus, in which it holds a 48.35% stake, Technology Minerals notes its investee has begun receipt of lithium-ion batteries for recycling from AA Battery Recycling Ltd." AA Battery Recycling will send Li-ion batteries to Recyclus' Wolverhampton plant for processing and recycling. Recyclus' cutting-edge facility is the only industrial scale Li-ion battery recycling plant in the UK, able to address the challenges associated with rising volumes of waste Li-ion batteries created by the global shift towards electrification," Technology Minerals says.

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By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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