e-therapeutics jumps as share overhang created by Woodford’s need to liquidate assets further cleared

A look at some of the biggest risers and fallers in London on Thursday

A major holdings notice showed the blighted fund manager’s firm now owns less than 5% of the drug discovery group

e-therapeutics (LON:ETX) saw its shares jump 34% higher to 2.35p in late afternoon trading as a share overhang created by Woodford Investment Management’s need to liquidate some assets was further cleared.

A major holdings notice showed the blighted fund manager’s firm now owns less than 5% of the drug discovery group. A holding form published on Wednesday showed Woodford Investment Management had then reduced its holding in e-therapeutics to 6.67% from 14.11%, after the previous day having revealed a cut in its investment back from 17.89%.

3.15pm: Crimson Tide buoyed by contract wins and new partnerships

Shares in mobile app developer Crimson Tide PLC (LON:TIDE) floated 4.2% higher to 2.5p in late-afternoon after the group secured a number of contract wins for its mpro5 business solutions app.

The AIM-listed firm said it had secured a contract in the Middle East through its newly appointed partner Dcode as well as a deal in Denmark with catering firm Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG), a pilot scheme with a county council in Ireland and a three year contract with outsourcer Interserve.

Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) entertainment firm Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO) surged 7.9% to 9.6p on the news that it will open a VR entertainment zone in London’s O2 Arena.

The 12-station VR zone includes the first installation of Immotion’s new VR Arena – a four-person shooting experience which features the global number one interactive VR game, Raw Data.

Immotion is also installing two VR cinema pods as well as a four-person cinema, where users can experience swimming with sharks and whales.

Among the fallers, FTSE 250 group Senior PLC (LON:SNR) sank 8.8% to 210.6p after it was left crippled by a stinging downgrade from Barclays.

Analysts downgraded the company, which makes various sensors and systems for aeroplanes, to ‘equal weight’ and slashed their price target to 210p, citing Senior’s exposure to Boeing’s 737 Max troubles.

12.45pm: Airea floored by “significantly tougher” trading in second quarter

Flooring firm Airea PLC (LON:AIEA) lost around a third of its value in lunchtime trading, plunging 33.3% to 51p after high levels of market uncertainty made for “significantly tougher conditions” in its second quarter.

As a result of the difficult conditions, Airea said its first half revenues would be “slightly down” year-on-year while operating profits were also expected to be lower despite a “very strong order book” and growth in its export markets.

Meanwhile, bicycle maker Tandem Group PLC (LON:TND) was also back peddling after it said in an AGM statement that sales to independent bike retailers had continued to fall in the six months ended 23 June, sending the shares 13.8% lower to 172.5p.

The group also highlighted that the “ongoing Brexit debacle” made it more cautious for the coming year due to its potential to disrupt consumer spending.

In the risers, investors took a shine to ARC Minerals Ltd (LON:ARCM) as the shares climbed 12.8% to 2.7p after the company kicked off its maiden drill programme at the Cheyeza East project in Zambia.

Nick von Schirnding, ARC’s executive chairman, said the firm had made a “very satisfactory start” to its campaign, with the first two holes having been completed with visible mineralisation intersected in both.

11.00am: Alien Metals shares out of this world as it discovers gold at Mexican project

Shares in Alien Metals Limited (LON:UFO) were sent into orbit in late-morning, jumping 5.5% to 0.15p, after the mining firm announced the discovery of gold at its Donovan 2 project in central Mexico.

The group said following the discovery it had planned follow up exploration work at its Los Campos and San Celso concessions at the project as well as a planned geophysical survey to better understand the mineralised trends for he first phase of drilling.

Elsewhere, detection specialist Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) swung 5.5% higher to 23p after predicting further growth as its annual revenues rose by more than a fifth and underlying profits jumped four-fold.

Revenues to in the year to April rose 23% to £14.5mln while underlying profits [EBITDA] jumped to £2mln from £0.5mln.

Losses were reduced to £1.3mln from £2.5mln.

At the other end of the market, car seller Pendragon PLC (LON:PDG) hit the skids, falling 4.3% to 16.9p after sacking its chief executive Mark Herbert after less than four months in the role.

The firm also said that internal operational difficulties, as well as a challenging market, meant it expected to be “significantly loss making” in its first half and report a “small loss” for the whole year.

9.20am: Edenville Energy surges as it begins mining at northern area of flagship Rukwa project

Tanzania-focused coal miner Edenville Energy PLC (LON:EDL) surged 23.8% higher to 0.07p in early deals on Thursday after it kicked off mining in the northern area of its flagship Rukwa project.

The AIM-listed firm said an access road to the area had been completed ahead of schedule, adding that coal located in the zone had the potential to provide greater yields and better qualities than other areas of the project that had been mined previously.

A little higher up in the FTSE 250, outsourcer Serco Group PLC (LON:SRP) climbed 7.2% higher to 145.6p on the back of a bullish trading update which forecast that a return to revenue growth in the first half of the year would drive underlying profits at least 20% higher.

The contractor said revenues for the full year were likely to be towards the top of its £2.9bn-£3bn range, representing growth of roughly 6% following declines for every year since 2014.

Shares in Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) also blew 13.2% higher to 15p after the vaccine maker revealed full-year earnings will be ahead of forecasts.

The group was also given a boost after receiving a multi-million-dollar settlement over a botched clinical trial back in 2016.

Meanwhile, among the fallers, AIM-listed recruiter Staffline Group PLC (LON:STAF) tumbled 17.1% lower to 124.4p after it unveiled plans to raise £41mln through a share placing and open offer to cut debt.

The group also reported a statutory loss before tax of £9.6mln for the 2018 full year, compared to £24.1mln the prior year, reflecting a provision for penalties and remediation costs after failing to pay the national minimum wage as well as restructuring charges for the group’s training division, PeoplePlus.

Other Proactive news headlines:

ITM Power PLC (LON:ITM) has announced the opening on Wednesday of the Hystock green hydrogen plant in Veendam near Groningen in the Netherlands, managed by Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company Gasunie.

Tekcapital PLC’s (LON:TEK) portfolio firm, Guident Ltd, has acquired a new IP from Florida International University to remotely control autonomous cars and drones.

ARC Minerals Ltd (LON:ARCM) has updated investors on its maiden drill programme at the Cheyeza East project in Zambia. The explorer noted that the first two holes have now been completed and visible mineralisation was intersected in both holes.

Nektan PLC (LON:NKTN) has launched a new mobile-first bingo product across its business-to-customer white label casino network of sites. The new product, provided by Pragmatic Play, is aimed specifically at mobile players and includes a unique in-game lobby system.

BlueJay Mining PLC’s (LON:JAY) Dundas minerals sands project in Greenland is worth US$83mln over a nine-year mine life according to a pre-feasibility study. Costs to build the mine and infrastructure are estimated at US$245mln.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) had extended a multi-year agreement with GPU.one, a Canadian data centre provider that will allow it to expand its cryptocurrency mining capacity and cut costs.

Crossword Cybersecurity Plc (LON:CCS) told investors that its Rizikon Assurance business has been selected by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Rizikon will automate supplier onboarding process and manage ongoing supplier risk for the group, which represents more than 690,000 nurses, midwives and nursing associates in the UK.

Integumen PLC’s (LON:SKIN) turnaround under new boss Gerry Brandon has been reflected in the cosmetics testing group’s full-year results. Revenue, including sales from discontinued operations, doubled to £501,000 in the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 (2017: £238,000).

Graphene specialist Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) has been awarded a patent in the US for its manufacturing process that just uses water with no chemicals, solvents or surfactants. Directa said this sustainability was already proving attractive to US companies.

Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) has switched on its plasma functionalisation reactor at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC), based at The University of Manchester. Haydale's HDPlas reactor is a rapid way to apply graphene and other carbon-based materials to other surfaces.

Revenue at Itaconix Plc (LON:ITX) jumped by 20% last year, and the specialty polymers maker is targeting even stronger growth in 2019.

Erris Resources PLC (LON:ERIS) has highlighted that it has been active over the first half of this year as it advanced projects in Finland, Sweden and Ireland. The company, in its half yearly project update, noted that field work has started in Finland as part of its strategic alliance with Centerra Gold. Centerra has also funded mapping and prospecting on new targets in North Sweden.

AdEPT Technology Group PLC (LON:ADT) has appointed Richard Bligh, the former chief operating officer of Gamma Communications PLC as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect and named a chief operating officer.

FairFX Group PLC (LON:FFX), the e-banking and payments group, has changed its name to Equals Group Plc (LON:EQLS) with effect from the start of trading on Thursday. Big Pic in May.

SigmaRoc PLC (LON:SRC) announced that David Barrett, its executive chairman of SigmaRoc, purchased 440,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 44.0p each, taking his total holding to 1,687,836 ordinary shares, representing 0.97% of the company’s total voting rights. The group added that its CEO Max Vermorken has also purchased 60,000 ordinary shares at a price of 44.0p each, taking his total interest in the company to 391,983 ordinary shares, representing 0.23% of the total voting rights. And it said Tim Hall, a non-executive director purchased 150,000 ordinary shares at a price of 44.0p each taking his total interest in the company to 150,000 ordinary shares, representing 0.09% of the total voting rights.

Touchstone Exploration Inc. (LON:TXP) (TSX:TXP) said the temporary restriction on the transfer of the shares from its placing announced in February into Canada for a period of four months and one day has lapsed from today and, consequently, all of the company's common shares are now freely transferable on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Touchstone is using the net proceeds of the private placement to fund the first exploration well on its Ortoire property.

Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) said a copy of its updated company presentation, which includes the key Feasibility Study metrics for the BKM copper project, located in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, together with additional Value Enhancement Opportunities including exploration potential in close proximity to the BKM mine, has been uploaded to the company website.

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