TRADING UPDATES: Coca-Cola HBC and Pendragon shareholders show ire

(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of updates by London-listed companies, issued on ...

Alliance News 21 June, 2022 | 9:13PM
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(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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Coca-Cola HBC AG - Zug, Switzerland-based drinks bottling company for Coca-Cola - Notes just under 22% of shareholders vote against re-election of Charlotte Boyle to board at annual general meeting, while over 32% voted against the director remuneration report.

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Pendragon PLC - Nottinghamshire-based car dealership chain - Shareholders vote against bosses' pay and bonuses, while its chief executive was handed a bloody nose from frustrated investors. Almost two-thirds of shareholders – 65.5% – vote against the company's remuneration report, which outlined the pay packets and bonuses its bosses received for 2021. Those with key roles in the group also faced the wrath of shareholders. Chief Executive Bill Berman retained his role, but 35% voted against his re-election. Dietmar Exler faced a similar situation to the chief executive at the AGM, with 39.79% voting against his re-election as senior independent director. Company says it will consult with shareholders over the votes. Adds: "The board recognises the significant vote against the report on directors' remuneration. The remuneration committee sought to ensure the rewards for the executive team were commensurate with the group's financial performance, in line with market benchmarking and in keeping with the remuneration policy's aim to support the longer-term success of the business for all stakeholders. Although the remuneration committee is satisfied its decisions were made in the best interests of all stakeholders, it respects the views expressed by shareholders regarding the resolution."

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British Smaller Cos VCT PLC - venture capital trust managed by YFM Private Equity Ltd - Net asset value per share ends March 31 at 85.7 pence, rising from 75.8p at the same point a year prior. Declares total dividend for financial 2022 of 9.0p, up from 4.0p a year prior. Chair Helen Sinclair says: "The UK economy has encountered significant headwinds, with rising inflation affecting the cost of living, interest rates on an upward trajectory and economic turmoil and uncertainty caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Against this backdrop, it is pleasing to see the resilience of the company's portfolio. The trend towards technology-enabled solutions which was accelerated by the pandemic has continued and the business to business component of the portfolio continues to benefit from this dynamic. "

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British Smaller Companies VCT 2 PLC - venture capital trust managed by YFM Private Equity Ltd - Net asset value per share ends March 31 at 61.5 pence, unchanged from three months earlier. Notes, during the same period, the FTSE Small Cap Market Overview fell by 6.8%.

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Globalworth Real Estate Investments Ltd - office investor in central and eastern Europe - Repays holders of EUR550 million 2.875% 2022 notes, with EUR323.1 million tendered leaving EUR226.9 million outstanding.

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NFT Investments PLC - invests in non-fungible tokens - Notes GBP5 million loan made to Pluto Digital LLC now repaid in full along with accrued interest, as per the agreement.

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Schroder British Opportunities Trust PLC - provides fresh equity capital to growing small to mid-sized British businesses - Makes investment into Pirum Systems Ltd, a post-trade automation and collateral management technology firm. Notes investment made through Schroders' long-standing investment partner Bowmark Capital, a UK based technology and services investor. Bowmark Capital first invested in Pirum in 2019 and has now re-invested alongside Hg Capital, who acquired a co-control stake in the company. No financial details disclosed.

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Henderson Far East Income Ltd - invests in the Asia Pacific region - Appoints board member Ronald Gould to succeed John Russell as chair. Gould was appointed to board in October 2021. Russell set to retire from Tuesday. "Henderson Far East Income Ltd will continue to deliver its remit of providing shareholders with a growing total annual dividend per share, as well as capital appreciation, from a diversified portfolio of investments in the Asia Pacific region," Gould adds. He was previously senior adviser to the UK Financial Services Authority, chief executive of investment bank ABG Sundal Collier, managing director of AXA Investment Managers and vice chair of Barclays Bank asset management activities.

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NetScientific PLC - London-based life sciences and sustainability technology investment firm - Proposes placing to raise at least GBP1.5 million through issue of 2.2 million shares at 67 pence each. Notes placing represents 9.6% of enlarged share issue. Says funds will be used to "re-inforce the good progress in implementing its growth strategy", and will also look to develop and commercialise its current portfolio.

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Aferian PLC - Leeds, England-based video streaming company - Says its pay TV streaming service, Amino, strikes deal with Now TV, a pay-TV service in Hong Kong and the media entertainment arm of HKT, a Hong Kong telecommunications service provider, to integrate its pioneering IPTV service with popular OTT services such as HBO GO and Netflix. "Amino Engage, Amino's SaaS service management solution, simplifies Now TV's device and app management to deliver excellent customer service, experience, and insight into video consumption metrics for monetization," it explains.

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Ensilica PLC - Oxfordshire-based semiconductor designer and supplier with design centres in India and Brazil - Says it has successfully brought a mixed signal automotive application specific integrated circuits to commercial production following the official launch of a new vehicle by unnamed "premium" automotive company. "The ASIC provides key differentiating features in the chassis control of the vehicle," company explains. Adds production schedule for more than 2.5 million ASICs over the next 12 months has been received.

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Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd - British Virgin Islands-based gold development company focused on Korea - Reviews further historical data and the results of subsequent field work at Kochang gold and silver mine, with two grab samples collected showing assay results of 4.91 grams per tonne and 6.76 grams per tonne. "This is very encouraging as not only does it provide opportunity to increase ore inventory but also indicates that the potential for future production at Kochang may be larger than we previously expected," Chief Executive Colin Patterson adds.

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Gensource Potash Corp - fertilizer development company based in Saskatchewan, Canada - Strategic investor and offtake partner, Helm AG and its subsidiary Helm Fertilizers, furthers commitment to firm's potash project located near Tugaske, Saskatchewan. "In the context of soaring fertilizer prices and constrained supply, particularly with respect to potash, the company is pleased to have a partner that has the strategic vision to see the value proposition in Gensource's business model," company says. Helm and Gensource plan to double the overall potash production capacity of the Tugaske project, to 500,000 tonnes per year from 250,000 tonnes per year. Notes Helm commits guarantee of CAD12.5 million, about GBP7.9 million, for the project.

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Hamak Gold Ltd - British Virgin Islands-based gold exploration firm focused on Liberia - Sees positive gold exploration results from the first grid block soil sampling in its Nimba licence, which is located in the north of Liberia. Soil samples from Nimba Block-1 return "strongly positive" gold results with values up to 1.52 parts per million. ""Our first soil sampling results from the systematic exploration programme in our Nimba licence have generated significant gold in soil anomalies over an extensive area that remains open ended in both directions. These anomalies will now be prioritised for detailed follow up through trenching to identify the potential bedrock sources of the gold anomalies," Executive Director Karl Smithson adds.

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Future Metals NL - Perth-based platinum exploration company - Updated JORC resource estimate at 100%-owned Panton PGM-nickel project in northern Western Australia shows 5.0 million ounces palladium, platinum and gold and 238,000 tonnes nickel at a grade of 1.66 grammes per tonnes palladium equivalent. Chief Executive Jardee Kininmonth says the updated estimate "demonstrates potential" of project. "There remains significant exploration upside at Panton with potential to add both tonnes and grade across numerous targets. We intend to follow up the success of the new MRE with a drill programme which will test a number of exploration targets including the impressive Northern Anomaly which is highly prospective for concentrated sulphide zones," he adds.

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Bluejay Mining PLC - mineral exploration and development in Greenland and Finland - Plans survey for Kangerluarsuk zinc-lead-copper-silver project in central west Greenland, which will cover 587 kilometres in attempt to find further drilling targets. Survey is expected to start in July.

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Eqtec PLC - Cork, Ireland-based gasification company focused on turning waste into sustainable energy - Signs non-binding heads of terms with Optima Bank SA for a debt facility to support construction of a 1 megawatt electric waste-to-energy project at Livadia, in Boeotia, Greece. Says facility proposes it would provide senior debt up to 75% LTV of the total capital required for the project. Also notes its subsidiary Synergy Projects appoints Grant Thornton Greece to help with proposed investment plan for the project to be financed through the recovery & resilience facility.

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Union Jack Oil PLC - Bath-based UK-focused oil and gas company - "Pleased" with conceptual development plan for West Newton, in which it has a 16.7% interest. Chief Executive David Bramhill says plans demonstrates West Newton's "potential as an extremely valuable gas development opportunity." Plan sees a phased eight well gas development, which will target recoverable hydrocarbon volumes of 35 million barrels of oil equivalent with a sales gas component of 203 billion cubic feet. An initial five well development drilling campaign will see first gas by 2025, with a further 3 wells drilled from 2028 to 2030. Reabold Resources PLC owns 56% economic interest in project.

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Scotgold Resources Ltd - gold and silver explorer and producer in Scotland - Completes second tranche of loan procurement agreement with Fern Wealth GmbH from a syndicate of high-net-worth investors. Draws down GBP2.0 million, with GBP985,000 remanning. To use proceeds to aid production growth, as it aims for gold production run rate of about 23,500 ounces per annum by the end of Q1 2023.

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Anglo Pacific Group PLC - natural resources royalty and streaming - Notes Queensland government in Australia proposes addition of three new progressive royalty tiers. Says new royalty tiers will apply to the royalty it receives from the Kestrel mine. "The previous amendment to the Queensland coal royalty regime in 2012, saw a significant increase to the weighted average royalty rate being applied to the group's Kestrel royalty interest. This amendment is expected to have the same impact from the effective date," it adds. Date new tiers to take effect from July 1. Says coal prices only increases from AUD175 per tonne and up, rising from 15% to 20%, 30% and 40% depending on price. Kestrel royalty revenue to rise by about 75%.

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Cadence Minerals PLC - London-based investment company focused on mineral resources sector - Sinks to pretax loss in 2021 of GBP144,000 versus GBP7.8 million profit in 2020, as income slumps to GBP1.2 million from GBP10.4 million. Chief Executive Kiran Morzaria says: "Cadence has continued to pursue its strategic objectives despite the continued volatility in 2021 because we think that assets that are undervalued, de-risked, or have strategic advantages will outperform their peers in the long run. This plan yielded fruit in 2021, with the company continuing to report profitable returns on its public investments and significant operation progress being made across its core investments."

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Scirocco Energy PLC - Leeds, England-based oil & gas investment company - Chair Alastair Ferguson says Ruvuma sale a "result of an exhaustive two-year process" and was the "best possible deal" for company to realise value from the asset, while retaining material upside exposure in the success case of Ruvuma. In early June, enters conditional binding agreement with Wentworth Resources PLC to divest its 25% non-operated interest in the Ruvuma gas development project in Tanzania. The divestment is for up to USD16 million, with an initial USD3 million consideration payable on completion and another USD3 million payable upon a final investment decision being taken relating to the Ruvuma asset production sharing agreement. On Tuesday, Ferguson adds: "The deal significantly strengthens the company's balance sheet by providing an immediate and non-dilutive injection of funds, allowing Scirocco to pursue its current investing strategy targeting cash-generative assets within the sustainable energy and circular economy markets." Deal will be voted on by shareholders at general meeting on June 29.

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United Oil & Gas PLC - London-based oil and gas company with projects in Egypt, Italy and the UK - Continues 2022 drilling programme with spudding of the AJ-14 development well in the Abu Sennan licence, onshore Egypt. UoG holds a 22% working interest in the licence, which is operated by Kuwait Energy Egypt. The well is primarily targeting the main producing c Abu Roash C reservoir on the Al Jahraa Field, with a secondary target in the Abu Roash G. Chief Executive Brian Larkin says: "As we have shown, successful development wells can be brought into production within days via existing infrastructure, adding production and revenue to the Company and with a typical well achieving payback within several months. Egypt offers a low-cost operating environment, with attractive fiscal terms and continues to deliver positive operational cashflow to United."

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Savannah Resources PLC - London-based mineral resource development company - Hits "major" project milestone for its 100% owned Barroso lithium project, with locked cycle testing completed, which uses recently finalised process flowsheet. Firm notes this produces "further excellent recoveries". Notes locked cycle testing is an "important process" in ensuring an accurate process for the upcoming definitive feasibility study. The LCT sees concentrate grade of 5.5% lithium oxide and global recoveries in the range of 77% to 81% at laboratory scale, which it says supports previously reported recoveries in the range of 70% to 79.5% at laboratory scale.

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Capital Metals PLC - London-based mineral sands explorer - "Encouraged" by drill results from Komari and Urani North prospects on Eastern Minerals heavy mineral sands project in Sri Lanka. Notes drilling returns 1.5 metres at 51.9% total heavy minerals from 1.5 metres and 1.1 metres at 41.8% THM from 0 metres. "These and future results are anticipated to continue to uplift the average grade of our current global resource, which at 17.6% THM is already in the highest quartile globally. This is expected to both expand the existing resource and also further improve the project economics," Chief Executive Michael Frayne says.

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By Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

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