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Ethernity Networks boosted by larger than expected US order

Ethernity Networks Ltd (LON:ENET) has seen its shares surge after positive news from a key customer.

The data processing software specialist said California-based Tarana Wireless had ordered US$2mln worth of its field programmable gate array system-on-a chip. The products  provide advanced networking functions, traffic control, and management for up to 512 homes per system-on-a-chip.

This breaks down as US$740,000 for 2021 – 50% more than expected – and US$1.26mln for next year, which may increase further as demand for Tarana’s fixed wireless product continues to grow. Additional orders are expected for 2023.

In the light of the current worldwide shortage of components, the company made a point of saying it had secured the relevant supplies from San Jose based technology company Xilinx for the rest of the year. 

Ethernity chief executive David Levi said: “We are delighted to see that the rate of deployment has exceeded original expectations as evidenced by the accelerated orders we have now received from Tarana for this year and next. It has been especially encouraging to see Tarana’s customers releasing their services based on this product, and we are extremely pleased to have contributed to the technology behind it. As we continue to work with Tarana on future generations, we are confident that this can be a mutually rewarding partnership for many years to come.”

Ethernity is up 11.52% or 5.3p at 51.3p.

2.27pm: Miner set to update geological model for potash project

Kore Potash PLC (LON:KP2) has fallen back after its latest drilling report.

The company is the 97% owner of the Kola and Dougou Extension (“DX”) potash projects in the  Republic of Congo.

It said drilling results at DX meant that before proceeding further with a definitive feasibility study, it needed to develop a new geological model to take into account the latest data.

This work, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year, would determine whether more drilling or seismic studies were needed. 

Brad Sampson, CEO, commented: “The recent drilling campaign at our DX project has improved our knowledge of the location of the sylvinite and carnallite potash mineralisation which was the main objective for the drilling. This further data will be used to incorporate an updated geological model as part of the definitive feasibility study work we are undertaking for this shallow solution mining project.   The update of the DX geological model will happen in parallel with the ongoing capital optimisation and financing activity for the development of the Kola project which is currently the company’s main focus.”

Kore shares are currently down 9.76% at 0.93p.

Analysts at house broker Shore Capital said: “Whilst the recent Phase 1 drilling programme and technical work has improved Kore’s overall understanding of the location and distribution of potash mineralisation within the DX project, the company’s focus has shifted to the capital optimisation and financing of the much larger Kola project following the recent signing of the memorandum of understanding (6 April) with a consortium of investors and engineering firms.”

But heading higher was Symphony International Holdings Limited (LON:SIHL).

The company, an investment firm focused on consumer businesses principally in Asia, has seen its shares – quoted in London but in dollars – climb 8.03% to US$0.41.

It said its net assets had risen from US$0.7384 at the end of December to US$0.7915 on 31 March.

Much of the gain came from a 26.5% increase in the share price of hotel and restaurant group Minor International and an increase in the value of unlisted investments by 3.3%.

But Symphony director Anil Thadani cautioned about the immediate outlook: “In the first and second quarter of 2021 various countries in Asia began to experience new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are government mandated movement and distancing restrictions in countries like Thailand, Malaysia and India.

“Our investee companies continue to operate while taking all necessary safety precautions to keep staff and business partners as safe as possible. There are downside risks in the coming months and we are hopeful that a more prolonged recovery will begin to take shape again towards the end of the year.”

11.53am: Waste group optimistic about the outlook

Waste is in the news, with Augean PLC (LON:AUG) facing a possible bid, and now positive results from Renewi PLC (LON:RWI).

Renewi – formed a few years ago by the merger of Shanks Group and Van Gansewinkel Groep – is up 3.58% to 54.9p after better than expected results and forecasts of an upgrade for 2022.

Revenue from ongoing businesses were flat and underlying earnings fell 3% to  €75.5mln compared to the previous year, but they were above estimates of €73.0mln.

The company is also optimistic about the outlook, especially given the growing green agenda.

Chief executive Otto de Bont said: “Our performance improved as the year progressed, despite the pandemic, and I am pleased to report final results which are significantly better than we had anticipated in early 2020…

“”Looking ahead, the board now expects the group’s performance in 2022 to be materially ahead of its previous expectations given the group’s strong results in 2021, particularly in the second half, and the prevailing high recyclate prices.

“The transition to a circular economy will increase demand for recycling and higher quality recyclates, which supports our business model. The sustainability agenda and the potential for a “green recovery” driven by the EU and national governments are expected to present more attractive opportunities for Renewi to convert waste into a wider range of high-quality secondary materials. We remain confident our [growth initiatives] will deliver significant additional earnings over the next three years and beyond.”

Also heading higher is Iofina PLC (LON:IOF).

The iodine specialist has added 17.9% to 14p in the wake of Tuesday’s results showing pretax profits more than doubled to $1.28mln.

An investor presentation on Wednesday afternoon also seems to have driven some interest, while investors David and Monique Newlands have increased their stake from 4.21%to 5.64%

9.59am: Siris snaps up payments group

And the bids keep coming.

Equiniti Group PLC (LON:EQN)  has agreed a £673mln cash takeover by private equity group Siris Capital, pushing its shares up 7.48% to 181p, a penny ahead of the offer price.

Chairman of the payment and investor services group Philip Yea said: “The EQ Board believes that the offer from Siris represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for EQ’s shareholders, reflecting the strength of EQ’s high quality business and its future prospects in a still uncertain environment.”

8.57am: Gift group shares rise after expansion deal

Shares in Appreciate Group PLC (LON:APP) are living up to the company’s name.

They have jumped 9.09% to 39.71p after the company behind gift products Park Christmas Savings, and Love2shop unveiled a deal with payment group PayPoint PLC (LON:PAY).

The deal means that Appreciate’s products will be offered at PayPoint’s network of 28,000 retailer partner stores across the UK.

Consumers will be able to buy Love2Shop e-gift cards at PayPoint outlets, and these can be exchanged so that customers can shop with the likes of Argos, Halfords, Marks & Spencer, ASOS, Costa and Uber Eats.

Appreciate chief executive Ian O’Doherty said: “The partnership provides our first physical distribution network for Love2Shop e-gift cards.  Overnight, it provides us with a network of 28,000 stores that reach into the heart of communities throughout the UK.

“Following recent success in building out our digital offering, this agreement further enhances our offer and adds depth to how customers can access our products. Looking ahead, working with partners who we believe can strengthen our proposition and help us drive growth, such as PayPoint, is a key component of our plans for future growth.”

Meanwhile PayPoint itself is down 0.85% at 584p.

It has issued full year results showing a 9.1% decrease in revenues from continuing operations, with COVID-19 having an impact on UK bill payments, ATM and parcels. Profits fell from £50mln to £19.4mln, including £16.1mln of exceptional items.

8.27am: Brave Bison boosted by upbeat trading statement

Shares in Brave Bison Group PLC (LON:BBSN) are advancing after a positive statement prepared for its annual meeting.

The social media and marketing group, which has recently partnered with the likes of Panasonic, Vodafone, Uniqlo and the BBC, said its propects looked promising and it believed it could beat market forecasts for the full year.

Executive chairman Oliver Green said: “Brave Bison has made a strong start to the current financial year and has now been trading profitably on an adjusted basis for the last eight months. Adjusted EBITDA in the first four months .. was over £0.25m, despite this traditionally being the weakest period of the year.

“The group continues to see a strong pipeline of clients beginning to release additional budget.  As a result, the board is optimistic as to the group’s prospects and is confident that Brave Bison is positioned to meet or exceed current full year market expectations.”  

The company’s shares are 7.3% higher at 1.47p.

Shares in Augean PLC (LON:AUG) have jumped 15.9% to 288p on news of a possible bid for the waste management firm.

Following reports of a possible offer, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc said it was “in the preliminary stages of considering making an approach to Augean regarding a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Augean.”

It added the usual caveat that there was no certainty an offer would be made, nor did it give details of the terms.

But at its current price Augean – whose clients include companies in the oil and gas and nuclear markets – has a market capitalisation of around £300mln.


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