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TRADING UPDATES: Securities Trust of Scotland outperforms benchmark

6th Dec 2022 17:11

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

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Securities Trust of Scotland PLC - Edinburgh-based investment firm focused on large capitalisation global equities - In the six months ended September 30, posts a net asset value return of negative 2.7%. This outperforms its comparison index, the Lipper Global - Equity Global Income Index, which returned negative 5.9%. NAV at September 30 rises to 222.86 pence, from 213.78p at the same time a year prior. However, NAV at September 30 falls from 230.75p at March 31. In the half, company swings to a net loss on investment of GBP7.3 million from a gain of GBP10.1 million the year prior. Explains while reporting negative returns is "disappointing", it says this must be put in context, noting an increasingly difficult economic outlook and increasing inflation rates.

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Vianet Group PLC - Stockton-on-Tees, England-based provider of retail sales and volume monitoring systems - In the six months ended September 30, reports a pretax loss from continuing operations of GBP107,000, narrowed from a loss of GBP363,000 the previous year. Revenue from continuing operations jumps to GBP7.2 million from GBP6.3 million the year prior. Recurring revenue represents 86% of turnover in the half, compared to 83% the previous year. Chair & Chief Executive James Dickson says the half benefitted from increased demand for data, which positively impacted the firm's operating profit and its momentum going into the second half of its financial year. Vianet says it is on track to meet market expectations for the full-year and has a "clear line of sight" to achieving pre-pandemic trading levels during financial 2023 and financial 2024. Adds will consider reintroducing a dividend in the July of financial 2023.

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Schroder UK Mid Cap Fund PLC - London-based mid-cap-focused investment trust - Reports a total net asset value return of negative 30% in the year ended September 30. This compares to a negative 26.8% NAV return from the company's benchmark index the FTSE 250 ex Investment Trusts Index over the same period. The firm's net asset value per share at September 30 dropped sharply to 541.89 pence from 791.56p at the same time a year prior. In its financial year, Schroder UK Mid Cap swings to a loss on investments held at fair value of GBP88.4 million from a gain of GBP78.1 million the previous year. Explains that the challenges for UK equities and the mip-cap area "grew considerably" in the second half of its financial year. Adds that, looking forward, there are reasons for optimism despite the turbulent backdrop. Announces an interim dividend of 5.0p per share, up 32% against the year prior.

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United Oil & Gas PLC - London-headquartered oil and gas firm with a portfolio of production, development, exploration and appraisal assets - Spuds the ASW-1X exploration well in the Abu Sennan licence, onshore Egypt. United holds a 22% non-operating interest in the Abu Sennan licence. Kuwait Energy Egypt operates the licence. This exploration well is the fifth and final to spud in the 2022 drilling campaign, United says. It is targeting un-risked mean recoverable resources at 8 million barrels of oil in multiple reservoirs. If successful, the well is expected to be tied into existing facilities, adding to production and revenue for the company.

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Valeura Energy Inc - Calgary, Canada-based upstream oil & gas company - Says its subsidiary and special purpose vehicle Valeura Energy Asia Pty Ltd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with upstream oil and gas firm Mubadala Petroleum (Thailand) Holdings Ltd. The agreement is for Valeura Energy Asia to acquire Thai upstream oil producing portfolio of Busrakham Oil & Gas Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Mubadala Energy, for USD10.4 million. An additional USD50 million is contingent upon "certain upside price scenarios". The portfolio consists of operated interests in three offshore licences in the Gulf of Thailand. They collectively produce around 21,200 barrels of oil per day, Valeura says.

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Scirocco Energy PLC - Leeds, England-based investment firm focused on assets with the European sustainable energy and circular economy markets - Says the Tanzanian Fiar Competition Commission has granted its unconditional approval for the sale of Scirocco's 25% interest in the Ruvuma asset to ARA Petroleum Tanzania. The Ruvuma assets covers an area in Tanzania where substantial gas discoveries have been made offshore in recent years, Scirocco explains, it consists of two licences. Company issued with a merger clearance certificate, which Scirocco says is an important step towards the completion of the divestment. However, expects the completion of this divestment to be in the first quarter of 2023, rather than December 2022 as previously guided. This is due to likely disruption around the upcoming festive period, it says. Adds it remains in discussions with all stakeholder group and will provide updates to the market accordingly.

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Zenith Energy Ltd - Aberdeen, Scotland-based energy company with production, exploration and development assets in Tunisia, Italy, and the Republic of Congo - Produces a total of 983 megawatt hours during November at its Torrente Cigno concession in Italy. Electricity prices during the month averaged EUR213 per megawatt hour, resulting in net revenue of EUR209,000 for the firm. Company's current net production costs remain fixed at EUR35,000 per month.

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Edenville Energy PLC - - Explains that it has been unable to increase daily production and output of washed coal at its Rukwa coal project in Tanzania. This, it adds, continues to hinder its progress in the short-term though operations have improved recently. Company's short-term focus is now to achieve its target of 3,000 tonnes per month of washed coal, before increasing to a target of 4,000 tonnes. To achieve this, Edenville believes an additional wash plant will be needed as the current wash plant is achieving an output of around 100 tonnes per day from eight-hour shifts. Notes increasing demand and price per tonne for Rukwa coal. Due to these production issues, firm is unable to achieve expected revenue from operations. In addition, company says it has received a claim from former employees relating to unfair dismissal. In light of this, Edenville has undertaken a placing to raise GBP400,000 to provide additional working capital and to provide sufficient fund to meet any adverse judgements as a result of legal claims. Aims to raise the funds through a placing of 5.7 million shares at a price of 7.0 pence per share, representing a 33% discount to its closing price of 10.50 pence on Monday.

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By Heather Rydings, Alliance News senior economics reporter

Comments and questions to [email protected]

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