Aptitude Software higher after strong finish to 2020

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Aptitude Software Group PLC (LON:APTD) gained 9.6% at 592p after it said the final quarter of 2020 had given it “greater revenue visibility for 2021”.

Annual recurring revenue grew by 11% in 2020 on a constant currency basis in 2020 to £31.2mln from £28.1mln in 2019, driven by new customer wins and the expansion of existing customer relationships.

While an increasing proportion of implementations will continue to be led by partners, contributing to a year-on-year reduction in services performed directly by Aptitude Software in 2021, services revenue for the coming year is now anticipated to be slightly ahead of earlier expectations.

9.15am: Falcon Oil and IronRidge Resources both surge after project updates

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) flew 14% higher to 8.875p in early morning trading on Tuesday after it confirmed a new gas discovery at the Beetaloo project.

The regulatory confirmation comes amid further positive findings from the Kyalla 117 well, part of the Beetaloo shale project in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Falcon noted that the Kyalla 117 well had flowed gas unassisted for a period of seventeen hours, following the introduction of nitrogen to lift fluids.

IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) hardened 31% to 19p after it released the results of a scoping study for the Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana.

The group said the study supports the case for a two million tonnes per annum production operation with life of mine revenues exceeding US$1.55bn, and significant potential to extend mine life.

During the eight-year mine life, the project will produce an average of 295,000 tonnes per year of 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate. The internal rate of return stands at 125%., while the capital cost estimate is USS$68mln.

Proactive news headlines:

IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) has released the results of a scoping study for the Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana. The group said the study supports the case for a two million tonnes per annum production operation with life of mine revenues exceeding US$1.55bn, and significant potential to extend mine life. During the eight year mine life the project will produce an average of 295,000 tonnes per year of 6% Li2O spodumene concentrate. The internal rate or return stands at 125%, while the capital cost estimate is USS$68mln. Average underlying earnings (EBITDA) will ring in at US$105mln per annum, the company added.

OKYO Pharma Limited (LON:OKYO) (OTCQB:EMMLF) said a scientist behind two blockbuster drugs will help spearhead the development of a treatment to tackle and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in people infected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Dr Napoleone Ferrara, head of the company’s scientific advisory board, will lead work on the chemerin molecule, which has also been earmarked for use in dry eye disease. The process has begun with the filing of patents covering the use of chemerin and lookalike molecules in the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Ferrara brings with him a track record of success and is noted in scientific circles as having isolated vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF.

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) (CVE:FO) confirmed it has a new gas discovery on its hands, as partner and Beetaloo project operator Origin Energy submits a formal notification to the Australian authorities. The regulatory confirmation comes amidst further positive findings from the Kyalla 117 well, part of the Beetaloo shale project in Australia’s Northern Territory. Falcon noted that the Kyalla 117 well had flowed gas unassisted for a period of seventeen hours, following the introduction of nitrogen to lift fluids.

Evgen Pharma PLC (LON:EVG) said 56 people have been recruited to its phase II/III STAR trial assessing its drug in patients with acute respiratory infections, including those with coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, researchers will investigate whether SFX-01 can reduce the severity, or prevent the onset of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in pneumonia patients. SFX-01 stimulates, or ‘upregulates’ the Nrf2 pathway, which is part of the natural human defence against inflammatory and oxidative stress, such as the inflammation that occurs during severe viral infection. Preclinical work has shown this up-regulation of the Nrf2 pathway has the potential to reduce the severity of ARDS.

Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS) expects to report revenue for 2020 that is ahead of market expectations. The provider of real-time, high-performance, distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber defence solutions said it had a strong second half to the year with increased momentum in order intake and revenue growth. Order intake for the year just ended is expected to be around US$20.9mln, up from US$13.0mln in 2019.

BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC) said it has enhanced its NFVTime virtual networking solution to enable it to be deployed through public cloud networks such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. NFV, which stands for network function virtualisation, allows network functions to be run in software with a single piece of equipment, rather than requiring multiple pieces of physical hardware. More specifically, NFVTime is an operating system that is licenced by BATM to network operators to allow them to create these virtual networks for their customers.

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) has said it expects to report revenue growth and full-year results that are in line with market expectations despite what it said was a “challenging 2020”. In a trading update for the year to December 31, 2020, the company said overall revenues are expected to show an increase of 25% to £1.6mln, within which product and consulting revenues are expected to expand by 39% reflecting its shift to a core of products and consulting sales from software development services.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) said it has made a new copper-gold discovery at Zafer, within the central region of its Gedabek Contract Area in western Azerbaijan. This discovery resulted from a regional exploration field mapping programme following the identification of structural trends by the ZTEM geophysics programme. Zafer is situated approximately 1.5 kilometres northwest of the Gedabek processing plant.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) said it has received formal approval from the Competition Authority in Turkey for the completion of its joint venture agreements with Özaltin Holding and Proccea Construction Co, as ratified by shareholders on December 30, 2020. The joint venture with Özaltin and Proccea involves the partial disposal of the company’s interests in Turkey in exchange for up to US$37.75mln in cash before costs and taxation. Ariana and Proccea will retain a 23.5% interest each in the expanded joint venture.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) said it produced a record amount of crystalline iodine in 2020, despite being affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Full-year production clocked in at 609.9 tonnes of crystalline iodine, up from 602.7 tonnes in 2019, which itself was a record year. In the second half of 2020, 325.5 tonnes of crystalline iodine was produced, up 14% on the first half of the year.

Feedback PLC (LON:FDBK) said it has bolstered its data management security by securing the Cyber Essentials Plus and ISO 27001 certifications for its flagship medical messaging app Bleepa. The Cyber Essentials Plus audit is a UK government-backed scheme to enable organisations to guard against a range of common cyber-attacks and demonstrate a commitment to cybersecurity, while ISO 27001 is the international standard that sets out the specification for information security management systems. Feedback said the new certifications will “provide customers and clinicians with added confidence in the safety of Bleepa’s data security” and that it continuously reviews and updates its security to comply with international standards.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) has highlighted that it is positioned to grow in 2021, with a twelve-well drill campaign among the slated catalysts. The company said it expects production to be slightly above the 2020 average though there is potential for a higher exit rate and stronger volumes in 2022 subject to results in the appraisal campaign at the Sarta field. Sarta’s start-up was a key highlight of 2020 as it marked the company’s fourth producing operation.

Condor Gold PLC (LON:CNR) (TSE:COG) told investors it has mobilised a second rig for its new 4,000 metres infill drill programme targeting planned ‘starter pits’ for the La India gold project in Nicaragua. The drill campaign began in December 2020, the company noted in an update. It aims to tighten the drill hole spacing within the planned high-grade starter pits on the principal La India Vein. To date, six drill holes have been drilled in the programme and assay results are pending. The addition of a second rig will soon accelerate progress.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) has unveiled two new appointments to support the growth of its LPLDL product and its sales in the Asian market. The life sciences company, which is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincar  said Christopher Nother is joining the firm on a part-time consultancy basis to support the growth of LPLDL in pharma, either as an over the counter (OTC) product used by itself or in combination with existing treatments, or a drug biotherapeutic in markets outside the USA. Meanwhile, OptiBiotix said Taru Jain will join the company’s management team in March to focus on business development and growing sales in the “strategically important” Indian and Asian markets.

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD), the freight management services provider, said it has appointed Michael Williamson as chief financial officer (CFO) of the group. Williamson, who is currently the global director of finance & controlling and the regional CFO of Northern Europe for Rohlig Logistics, an international freight forwarder, will join the Xpediator board on March 1, 2021.

Curtis Banks Group PLC (LON:CBP), one of the UK’s leading SIPP providers, has announced the appointment of Jill Lucas as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect.  The group said she has also been appointed chair of Dunstan Thomas, the leading FinTech provider acquired by Curtis Banks in August 2020. The company noted that Lucas is an experienced business leader with a background in technology, having spent over 30 years in various leadership positions.

Induction Healthcare Group PLC (LON:INHC) a leading healthcare technology company that helps achieve digital transformation for hospitals, announced that Shelley Fraser has resigned from her position as its chief financial officer and from the group’s board with immediate effect. The company said Fraser will leave the company following a short handover period to ensure an orderly transition of responsibilities to Olly Drake, former CFO of Zesty Ltd, who will be Interim Group CFO. Induction Healthcare noted that Drake previously worked at BDO and was UK Finance Director at Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC. The company said it will commence a search for Fraser’s successor during the current quarter.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) said it has raised £750,000 via the placing of just over 88mln shares at a price of 0.85p per share. A London-based specialist resources investor will invest £600,000, while Artemis Resources Limited (ASX:ARV) will invest £150,000. Artemis has gold exploration and development projects in Western Australia’s Pilbara, and shares a director with Thor in Mark Potter. Each placee will receive one warrant for each two placing shares.

Emmerson PLC (LONEML), the Moroccan-focused potash development company, announced that it has received notice of the exercise of warrants from Optiva Securities Limited in respect of 389,333 ordinary shares of no par value in the capital of the company at a price of 3p per share.  The aggregate gross proceeds of this exercise amounts to £11,649.99.

[email protected] Capital PLC (LON:SYME) has said that, following discussions with its advisors and auditors, it is changing its Accounting Reference Date from September 30 to December 31 to align its financial year-end with the Calendar Tax Year, a more standard accounting reference date and one which is more appropriate to the group’s current and future operating subsidiaries’ trading. It said this change of the Accounting Reference Date will greatly improve the efficiency of the financial reporting process going forward and as a result, the Group’s financial reporting calendar. Accordingly, audited accounts for a shortened nine-month period ended December 31, 2019, are currently being finalised and are expected to be published before the end of January 2021; unaudited Interim Accounts for the six-month period ended June 30, 2020, will be published shortly following the audited December 31, 2019 accounts; and audited accounts for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2020, are scheduled to be published in April 2021. Thereafter, interim and annual accounts will be published each year for the six months to June 30 and twelve months to December 31 in accordance with the LSE Standard Listing Rules.

The Brunner Investment Trust PLC (LON:BUT) has announced that it has renewed its authority to repurchase a maximum of 6,399,639 of its ordinary shares (being its outstanding shareholder authority). Such authority lasts until the next shareholder authority granted, or where expressly revoked by shareholders. The buy-back may be funded from the company’s resources (including from sales of investments made by the Company and debt facilities). No maximum consideration payable has been determined by the company, but it is unable to pay a price for any shares pursuant to the buy-back which would equate to a premium on the net asset value. The company has appointed JPMorgan Securities plc to act as its broker in respect of the buy-back.

Powerhouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE), the UK technology company commercialising hydrogen production from waste plastic has announced that David Ryan, its chief executive officer, and Tim Yeo, its executive chairman, will be presenting at an investor webinar being hosted jointly by Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Ltd and Vox Markets. The event will be held on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 5.30pm.

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