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TRADING UPDATES: Lookers buys Waterhouse; CT Automotive audit ongoing

4th May 2023 17:04

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

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Datalex PLC - Dublin-based software company in digital commerce for travel retail - Renews long-standing partnership with JetBlue for another five years. Says it will continue to provide JetBlue with advanced merchandising capabilities to drive revenue, increase engagement and enhance customer experiences across their domestic, international and transatlantic markets. Chief Executive Officer Sean Corkery comments: "We are proud to renew our fantastic partnership with JetBlue as they continue to see real returns from our innovative solutions."

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Lookers PLC - Altrincham, England-based car dealership chain - Buys the business and assets of Waterhouse Cars Ltd, an automotive retail group based in Chelmsford, Essex. Says the acquisition complements the its existing Volvo dealership in Colchester and adds 40 staff to the local team. "The new site sees Lookers further extend its Volvo footprint, growing it to five dealerships, alongside the sites in Colchester, Stockport and Glasgow, and the Polestar dealerships and aftersales businesses in Manchester and Glasgow," Looker says. Following the completion of the transaction, Lookers has committed to invest GBP2 million in the newly acquired site, as well as a further GBP2.3 million investment in its existing Volvo dealership in Colchester.

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CT Automotive Group PLC - Portsmouth, England-based designer, developer and supplier of interior components to auto industry - Says audit into 2022 accounts remains "ongoing." Adds that potential adjustments, as a result of audit, means the underlying pretax loss could be about USD15 million. For 2021, CT Automotive reported a pretax loss of USD7.4 million. "As previously stated, trading in the first three months of the year has been encouraging with strong customer demand and order books building into the new financial year. As a result, the Board remains confident of achieving market expectations for FY23," CT Automotive adds.

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Union Jack Oil PLC - oil and gas company with a focus on onshore production, development, exploration and investment opportunities within the UK hydrocarbon sector - Sells 2.5% interest in the Claymore Area Royalty Agreement, for an undisclosed amount. Chair David Bramhill says: "The company is pleased with the price and terms and conditions of the sale, which has generated an above average return on our original investment. Union Jack remains committed to becoming a mid-tier producer, with Wressle being the first step on that journey."

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Caledonia Mining Corp PLC - Jersey-based gold producer focused on Zimbabwe - Commences the direct sale of gold produced from the Blanket Mine to a refiner outside Zimbabwe. Unrefined gold continues to be processed at Fidelity Gold Refinery (Private) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, on a toll-treatment basis. The refined gold held by FGR is exported to a refinery outside Zimbabwe, the receiving foreign refinery undertakes the final refining process and the gold is sold on behalf of Caledonia. CEO Mark Learmonth says: "This new arrangement should be seen in the context of Caledonia's planned expansion in Zimbabwe, initially at Bilboes and thereafter at Motapa and Maligreen: this new marketing arrangement should make it easier for Caledonia to arrange debt facilities with funders outside Zimbabwe which may be used to support the construction of the new mines."

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Porvair PLC - Hampshire, England-based manufacturer focused on filtration and separation technology - Says it will buy Ratiolab GmbH and Ratiolab Kft, subject to Hungarian regulatory approval. Expects regulatory approval to take around three months. Ratiolab, located outside Frankfurt, sells a wide range of laboratory consumables in Europe and the Middle East. Ratiolab, located close to Budapest, manufactures laboratory consumables in an 8,000 metres squared facility. The transaction is expected to be earnings neutral in the balance of 2023, and earnings enhancing thereafter. "The board believes Ratiolab will fit well into the group's Laboratory division, offering a complementary product range and adding European manufacturing capabilities, injection moulding expertise, and routes to market," Porvair says. Also says it acquired business and assets of KRW Inc, a small engineering operation in Idaho, US, to expand its machining and product design skills. Provides no financial details.

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Merit Group PLC - London-based data technology company - Expects to report revenue of GBP18.6 million and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of at least GBP2.6 million, ahead of market expectations by around 20%. For financial 2022, Merit posted revenue of GBP27.4 million and adjusted Ebitda of GBP2.8 million. Says it is now focused on generating value for shareholders. "We are targeting further revenue growth in the new financial year which, combined with the significant step down in costs already achieved, will help us drive returns for shareholders," CEO David Beck says.

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t42 IoT Tracking Solutions PLC - Jersey-based real-time tracking, security, and monitoring solutions provider - Ink new strategic partnership with Ashdod Port, Israel's busiest container gateways. The "Innovation at Ashdod Port" program aims to improve global supply chains, it says. "The port's management reviewed hundreds of companies and selected t42 to work in partnership with, as well as agreeing to promote the company's tracking solutions. The partnership will promote the company's solutions and services, with the aim of improving demand and value proposition," t42 adds.

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By Sophie Rose, Alliance News reporter

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