News blog

AIM 50 Digest 28 May 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 31/05/2021 |

Impax Asset Management (IPX) increased its interim pre-tax profit from £8m to £14m on revenues up from £41.2m to £60.6m. The interim dividend was doubled to 3.6p a share. The focus on renewables and sustainable investments has helped Impax to prosper. Assets under management reached £30bn at the end of March 2021. Net inflows during the period were £6.8m. There has been a further increase to £32.2bn by the end of April 2021.
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Full year revenues at Young & Co Brewery (YNGA) slumped from £311.6m to £90.6m. There were hardly any revenues generated by tenanted pubs and this business may be sold. A pre-tax profit of £37.7m last year was turned into a loss of £44.1m. Net debt was reduced from £280.4m to £248.7m, after a £84.9m fundraising. There were 144 pubs that opened for outdoor trading and they were achieving 85% of normal trading levels.
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Software and consultancy firm First Derivatives (FDP) reported flat full year revenues of £237.9m, but pre-tax profit fell from £18.3m to £11.1m. There is no dividend for the year. Revenues are expected to increase this year and EBITDA could be between £31m and £33m, down from £40.5m last year. This is due to additional investment in software development and marketing.
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Trading held up well at Watkin Jones (WJG) considering the corresponding period was hardly affected by Covid-19. Construction appears to be fully up and running again, and it is not particularly hampered by any additional Covid-19 measures. The build to rent operations are growing strongly and there is good demand for student accommodation. Interim pre-tax profit fell 3% to £25.8m. Watkin Jones has net cash of £89m. That has enabled the company to reinstate the dividend at 2.6p a share. The full year pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £46.3m to £49m.
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Off trade demand remains strong for Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) and this may transfer to the on trade as restrictions ease. First quarter UK sales are 10% ahead, while US sales were 38% higher in the first 12 weeks of the year.
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Automation software supplier Blue Prism (PRSM) says that annual recurring revenues are £168m and full year revenues are likely to be at the lower end of the £170m-£180m range. There was £126m in the bank at the end of April 2021.
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Pan African Resources (PAF) has increased its 2020-21 production guidance to 195,000 ounces of gold, up from 190,000 ounces. 
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First quarter mortgage completions by Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB1) increased by 26% to £5.3bn. Activity levels in the housing market remain high.
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Lawyer Knights Group Holdings (KGH) says that full year revenues will be higher than the market consensus of £100.8m. Underlying pre-tax profit was slightly higher than £18m. Net debt is £21.2m.
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Learning Technologies Group (LTG) had net cash of £24.8m at the end of April 2021. A strong recovery is expected in the content and services division this year.
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Warehouse REIT (WHR) reported a NAV of 135.1p a share at the end of March 2021, up from 109.5p a share one year earlier. The occupancy rate is 95.6%.
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The latest report into the rail sector should provide additional opportunities for Renew Holdings (RNWH). The engineering services provider improved interim pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £18.1m even though group operating margin fell. Organic revenue growth was 12% with rail particularly strong. The recent water infrastructure acquisition was made late in the period. Specialist building improved its profit contribution. The group order book has reached £750m. Net debt was £16.9m at the end of March 2021. The interim dividend has been reinstated at 4.83p a share.
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Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has received $40m from AstraZeneca as part of an upfront investment in the ongoing siRNA collaboration. They will work on five targets in the next three years. Phase 1 data shows that SLN124, a treatment for iron-loading anaemia conditions, was safe and effective in reducing plasma iron levels.
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Shareholders in telecoms services provider Gamma Communications (GAMA) do not appear to be happy with non-independent non-executive director Wu Long Peng and 26.2% of votes at the AGM were against his re-election. He has been on the board for a decade and there has not previously been a significant vote against him. In the past year, he has become a member of the audit and ESG committees. He does not own any shares. There were 12.2% of votes cast against the re-election of chairman Richard Last.
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Stephen Fenby, managing director of audio visual products distributor Midwich (MIDW), sold 163,000 shares at 495p each. He still owns 21.7%. Non-executive director Brian Ashford-Russell raised £1.2m by selling shares in Polar Capital (POLR) at 802.2761p each. New Iomart (IOM) chief executive Reece Donovan bought 7,500 shares at 266p each. He owns 10,750 shares. 

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