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Pendragon scorched as it predicts losses will meet worst estimates

A look at some of the top risers and fallers in London today

cyber security
Pendragon owns the Evans Halshaw brand

Shares in car dealer Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG) dived in late-afternoon trading, slumping 8.9% to 10p after the group predicted its full-year losses would meet the worst of its expectations.

In an outlook statement, the firm, which owns the Evans Halshaw brand, blamed “very challenging” market conditions as well as Brexit uncertainty for its troubles, adding that they didn’t expect the situation to improve for the rest of its financial year.

The dismal assessment accompanied a similarly bleak set of half-year results for the group where it swung to a £32.2mln loss in the six months to 30 June from a £28.4mln profit in the prior year.

In the risers, N4 Pharma PLC (LON:N4P) jumped 10.2% to 3.3p after it made good strides in understanding better how its drug delivery system Nuvec works over the past six months.

Nuvec delivers DNA directly into cells to encourage the production of anti-cancer antigens.

Nigel Theobald, chief executive, said: "In this period, we have confirmed that Nuvec works for both DNA and mRNA delivery, having produced an antibody response for both.

“We have also made progress in understanding how Nuvec behaves once loaded with DNA and mRNA."

2.10pm: Osirium Technologies shares fall as it posts wider first-half loss and mulls fundraising 

Osirium Technologies PLC (LON:OSI) said it expects to carry out a fundraise to strengthen its balance sheet, sending shares down 12.6% to 48.5p.

The provider of cloud-based security services made the announcement as it reported a loss of £1.38mln for the first half, compared to a loss of £1.16mln last year, as it continued to invest in research and development and marketing.

It ended the period with cash of just £890,000, down from £3.34mln the same period a year ago.

Shares in Image Scan (LON:IGE) gained almost 12% to 1.18p as it won a contract worth £800,000 to provide its ThreatScan X-ray systems to a security firm in Europe.

ThreatScan is a portable X-ray that allows bomb technicians to perform threat assessments.

The new contract is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2020.

1.00pm: Equatorial Palm Oil shares gain as it confirms first shipment from port of Buchanan 

Shares in Equatorial Palm Oil PLC (LON:PAL) received a boost after the company confirmed the first export shipment of crude palm oil from the port of Buchanan in Liberia.

The producer of palm oil in Liberia and West Africa announced in August that a customer of its operating subsidiary Libinc Oil Palm Inc. was to purchase 2,700mln tonnes of crude palm oil, which was to be collected by parcel tanker ship from the port of Buchanan.

“The company is pleased to confirm that this shipment has now taken place and that the crude palm oil was shipped to Doula in Cameroon,” the firm said.

Shares advanced 35% to 0.95p.

Meanwhile, Nektan PLC (LON:NKTN) has warned that it will need funding to continue trading if shareholders vote against a proposed £3mln placing.

“Should the proposed placing not be successful, it is likely that the company will require further funding in order to continue as a going concern and that therefore the Directors would, if required, seek additional capital through an alternate fundraising and/or asset sales or part sales,” it said.

Shares plummeted 32% to 6.1p in reaction.

11.30am: Cenkos Securities shares rise as it slumps to first-half loss but expects improvement 

Cenkos Securities PLC (LON:CNKS) slumped to a loss on weaker revenue in the first half but said it expects a stronger second half.

The stockbroker made a loss before tax of £0.2mln in the first six months of the year, compared to a profit of £0.5mln last year, as revenue fell to £10.6mln from £18.1mln.

The company blamed tough market conditions for the weaker revenue but said the second half has “started well” with a number of transactions completed including an initial public offering.

Shares rose 12% to 50.5p.

GLI Finance Ltd (LON:GLIF) shares plunged 28% to 2.4p after reporting “disappointing” first-half results due to write downs in its fintech portfolio.

The firm reported a loss of £6.1mln for the half-year, although it marked an improvement on last year’s £9.3mln loss due to cost control. Revenue, however, dipped to £7.1mln from £7.2mln a year ago.  

The group also warned that there will likely be a near term funding gap as loans take longer to repay.

9.40am: Judges Scientific shares jump as it expects profit to beat market forecasts 

Judges Scientific PLC (LON:JDG) shares shot higher after the maker of scientific instruments said it expects full-year earnings to beat market forecasts after a strong first half.

In the first six months of the year, adjusted pre-tax profit rose 27% to £8.4mln and revenue increased 9% to a record £40.2mln on the back of a higher order intake.

The company hiked its interim dividend by 25% to 15p per share and said it now sees 2019 adjusted profit-tax profit and earnings per share to be ahead of analyst’s expectations of £15.0mln and 188.4p respectively.

Shares gained 6.5% to 3,665p.

Games Workshop Group PLC (LON:GAW) shares rose 3% to 4,810p after saying in a brief update that trading is in line with its expectations and cash generation remains strong.

Going the other way, Colefax Group PLC (LON:CFX)  shares dropped 9% to 422p after the designer of luxury furnishing fabrics and wallpapers said it remains cautious about the outlook for the full-year after challenging market conditions hurt sales in the four months to 31 August.

In the group’s core fabric division, total sales for the four-month period decreased 5% on a constant currency basis. In the US – its largest market, sales fell 5%, compared to a 4% rise a year ago, while the UK and Europe division saw sales decline 3%.

Yu Group PLC (LON:YU.), an independent UK energy and water supplier, saw shares slide 11.8% to 130p as it scrapped its interim dividend after posting a wider first-half loss.

The company made a loss of £2.7mln in the six months to 30 June, compared to a loss of £895,000, as low margin legacy contracts continued to wash through its accounts.

Proactive news headlines

Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) swung strongly back into profit and re-started dividend payments as gold production jumped 54% to 172,400oz in the year to June.

Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) reported good growth in profits and strong cash flow for the first half of the year said it was confident about the rest of the year too.

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) says it is pleased with the terms for its container screening contract at Terminal 3 at the Port of Tema in Ghana.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd's (ASX:SO4) pilot plant test work on salts from the Lake Way project has confirmed a highly water-soluble premium sulphate of potash (SOP) product with a potassium oxide grade exceeding 53%.

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has expanded its global empire with the acquisition of German dubbing specialist TV+SYNCHRON Berlin (TVS). In a separate announcement, Keywords reported that for the six months ended 30 June an adjusted pre-tax profit of €18.4mln, up 14.3% on the prior year, while the interim dividend was hiked to 0.58p per share from 0.53p.

ClearStar Inc’s (LON:CLSU) direct sales and medical screening arms shone in its first six months of the year and revenue momentum has continued into the second half.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) said it is on course to meet its production target for the year after a strong first half of output.

Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) continues to advance and de-risk its flagship Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali, chief executive Bernard Aylward highlighted in a new operations update.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) has clinched a deal with a South African partner for the distribution of its GoFigure weight management products.

Eden Research plc (LON:EDEN) cut losses in the first half of its financial year as it eyed a larger sales footprint for its Cedroz pesticide.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) has found a partner to supply brine for its next iodine extraction plant in the US with construction to start immediately.

Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC (LON:EOG) has expanded its portfolio adding new exploration acreage in the Agadir basin offshore Morocco.

Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) said trading is in line with expectations for the full year with “good” revenue growth in the UK and the US.

Nektan PLC (AIM: NKTN) is proposing a capital restructuring to strengthen its balance sheet as its business-to-business arm begins integrating new clients at a rapid rate across Asia and Africa.

SDX Energy Plc (LON:SDX) has revealed success in the MSD-19 development well in the West Gharib project area, in Egypt.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) has agreed to lease four new ATR 72-600 aircraft to Braathens, Sweden’s second-largest domestic airline.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) will deliver a keynote presentation at the China BioMed Innovation and Investment Conference this Sunday in Suzhou, China, with chief executive Adam Hill giving an overview of the company and progress in delivering its strategy.

Summit Therapeutics PLC (LON:SUMM) (NASDAQ:SMMT) has flagged up an editorial in the Future Microbiology journal calling for the development of antimicrobial products to combat resistance to antibiotics. Summit is developing Ridinilazol, a new class antibiotic for the treatment of C. difficile infection, where current treatments fail in about a third of cases. Dr David Roblin, president of research and development at Summit, said: “Our approach to antibiotic drug development aims to end the perception that new antibiotics are ‘break-in-emergency’ treatments.”

Ticketing software specialist accesso Technology Group PLC (LON: ACSO) says it expects the cost of its new unified product strategy will be lower than expected.

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