Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) shot up 25% to 59p on the back of a positive operational update.


The company reported higher revenues and margins from its cryptocurrency mining operations in December and offered a positive outlook for the year ahead.


In an update on its operations, the firm reported revenues for the month of GBP1.63mln, up from GBP1.48mln in November, which was generated with an average monthly mining margin of around 60% compared to 57% in the prior month.


2.05pm: PureTech Health higher as it brings in new CFO


Shares in PureTech Health plc (LON:PRTC) moved up 1.4% to 409p after it announced the appointment of financial analyst and biotech executive George Farmer as its new chief financial officer.


Farmer joins the medicine firm from BMO Capital Markets where he completed a 15-year career as a senior biotechnology equity analyst providing sector research for institutional investors. He also previously served as CEO of Cortice Biosciences, a private biotechnology company focused on the clinical development of therapies for brain malignancies and neurodegenerative diseases.


PureTech founder and CEO Daphne Zohar said Farmer’s appointment and experience “will be very helpful as we share the PureTech story with a broader community of investors”.


1.10pm: RenalytixAI unveils partnership with US healthcare provider Da Vita


RenalytixAI PLC (LON:RENX) leapt 16% to 640p after it unveiled a partnership with US healthcare provider Da Vita.


The two companies will work together on a programme aimed at slowing disease progression and improving health outcomes for adults with chronic kidney disease.


“Almost 50% of people whose kidneys fail find out after it is too late, and we are on a mission to change that,” said Javier Rodriguez, the chief executive officer of DaVita.


12.05pm: Westmount Energy finds the market hard to please


Westmount Energy Limited (LON:WTE) shed 5.1% at 18.5p after it announced a drill-ship has arrived at an offshore block in which it has an interest.


The Stena Carron drill-ship has arrived on location at the Bulletwood-1 well-site on the Canje Block, offshore Guyana and has commenced drilling operations.


Westmount holds an indirect interest in the Canje Block as a result of its circa 7.2% interest in the issued share capital of JHI Associates, which in turn has a 17.5% interest in the Canje Block.


11.05am: Eden Research becomes first company to win the LSE’s Green Economy Mark


Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) has received the London Stock Exchange’s Green Economy Mark. The news sent the shares 14% higher to 14.25p.


The crop protection and animal health specialist is the first company to receive what Eden’s chief executive, Sean Smith, called a “prestigious” award.


The Green Economy Mark recognises London-listed companies that derive more than 50% of their total annual revenue from products and services that contribute to the global green economy.


10.10am: Next lifts full-year profits guidance again


Next PLC (LON:NXT) was the top-performing blue-chip, up 9.3% at 7,552p as, not for the first time, it surpassed expectations.


The clothing retailer said the full-year profit figure is expected to come in at GBP370mln, down from GBP728mln in the year to January 2020 but a bit higher than the GBP365mln guidance issued in October.


In the nine weeks to December 26, 2020, Next’s full-price sales dipped by only 1% after online sales compensated for the losses of store closures.


9.15am: GETECH Group shares energised by contract win


GETECH Group PLC (LON:GTC), up 16% at 16.75p, was setting the early pace in London on Tuesday morning after it bagged a contract with a national energy company.


The company, which specialises in providing software to the energy industry, said the unnamed customer had signed a multi-year licence agreement for its Globe product.


The agreement adds GBP563,000 to GETECH’s current order book.


Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) jumped 13% to 2.15p following a timely announcement about the status of a face mask manufacturing machine to be delivered to its Pharm 2 Farm (P2F) subsidiary.


The AIM-listed firm said the manufacturing plant was loaded and dispatched from Spain on January 4, 2021.


The plant is likely to arrive at P2F’s Nottingham facility at the earliest on January 8, subject to any routine traffic or customs delays and that it expects to update on expected production levels once the machine has been commissioned and an assessment has been made.


Proactive news headlines:


Remote Monitored System PLC (LON:RMS) has issued an update on the status of a face mask manufacturing machine to be delivered to its subsidiary Pharm 2 Farm Limited (P2F). The AIM-listed firm said following an announcement on December 29. 2020, advising a likely shipping date, the manufacturing plant was loaded and dispatched from Spain on January 4, 2021. Remote Monitored noted that the plant is likely to arrive in Nottingham at the earliest on January 8, subject to any routine traffic or customs delays.


Westmount Energy Limited (LON:WTE) has highlighted the start of drilling operations at the Bulletwood-1 well, part of the Canje exploration project offshore Guyana. The group said it fires the starting pistol on an exciting and potentially game-changing period for the small-cap oil investor. Westmount indirectly holds an interest in ExxonMobil-operated Canje, via a 7.2% shareholding in JHI Associates Inc (which in turn has a 17.5% stake in the block). As a result of JHI’s farm-out deal with Total, struck in 2018, the minority partner is ‘carried’ for its share of costs in up to four wells including Bulletwood-1.


Destiny Pharma PLC (LON:DEST) has said its XF-73 Phase 2b clinical trial was fully recruited by the end of 2020, meeting the target timeline. The clinical-stage biotechnology company, focused on the development of novel medicines that can prevent life-threatening infections, said results of the trial are expected in the first quarter of this year. XF-73 is a first-in-class drug candidate from Destiny Pharma’s XF platform, initially being developed for the prevention of post-surgical staphylococcal infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which cause significant complications and increased healthcare costs in the hospital setting.


SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) told investors it has tapped ‘first gas’ from the South Disouq SD-12X well in Egypt, six weeks ahead of schedule. The 100% owned well unearthed a commercial discovery in mid-2020 and subsequently came online on December 21, 2020, the company revealed in an update. It is anticipated that SD-12X is host to 24bn cubic feet of recoverable resources and can produce at 10 to 12mln cubic feet per day (presently the rate is reported as 5mln to 7mln). At the same time, SDX reported group production of 6,400 barrels of oil equivalent (boepd) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020.


Impax Asset Management Group PLC (LON:IPX) has said its assets under management (AUM) surged to a new high in the final quarter of 2020. AUM rose by 24.8% during the final three months of 2020 to GBP25.2bn. “Despite these difficult times, I am pleased to report that Impax has again demonstrated its resilience and delivered another quarter of strong growth,” said Ian Simm, the chief executive of the AIM-listed specialist investor, which focuses on investments aimed at building a more sustainable economy, in a statement.


Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI) said it has purchased an office building one mile west of Oxford city centre for GBP7.86mln. The UK property investment company has acquired Willow Court, a 22,545 square feet office building on Minns Business Park, adjacent to the A34, which connects the M4 and M40. The property comprises four floors let to RBS, Dehns, Charles Stanley, Oxentia and the Smith Institute with a weighted average unexpired lease term to first break or expiry of four years and an aggregate rent of GBP537,496 per annum, reflecting a net initial yield of 6.41%.


Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) has initiated a peanut allergy biomarker study that will support the clinical programme for a phase I trial later this year of its potentially breakthrough short-course vaccine candidate. Researchers from Imperial College London have begun work on blood samples from peanut allergy patients to evaluate the group’s virus-like particle inoculation. Specifically, the scientists will seek to confirm its hypoallergic potential and its “potent immune response”.


Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) has reported higher revenues and margins from its cryptocurrency mining operations in December and offered a positive outlook for the year ahead. In an update on its operations, the firm reported revenues for the month of GBP1.63mln, up from GBP1.48mln in November, which was generated with an average monthly mining margin of around 60% compared to 57% in the prior month. The company also said it had mined 96 Bitcoin or Bitcoin equivalent (BTC) in the month compared to 115 BTC in November, taking the total amount mined in the year-to-date to 2,465 BTC.


United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) has announced the spudding of the ASH-3 development well at the Abu Sennan licence, in Egypt. The company owns a 22% interest in the Kuwait Energy operated well which will target Alam El Bueib reservoirs, at a depth of 3,600 to 3,950 metres, in a location up-dip of the ASH-2 production well. ASH-2 was brought online a year ago and has to date yielded over 1mln barrels, and is currently flowing around 4,500 barrels of oil per day.


Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN), the sustainable biopesticides group, has received the London Stock Exchange’s Green Economy Mark, which recognises companies that derive over 50% of their total annual revenue from products and services that contribute to the global green economy. Adherence to good environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles has become a fundamental part of analysing businesses with institutions such as BlackRock, the world’s largest stock market investor, and Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs bringing the issue into the mainstream. In a statement, Eden Research chief executive Sean Smith said: “As the UK’s only listed AIM company focused on biopesticides for sustainable agriculture, being recognised with the Green Economy Mark clearly demonstrates our credentials to investors and other stakeholders, highlighting Eden’s efforts to support the transition to a sustainable world.


Shanta Gold Ltd (LON:SHG) said it has appointed Yuri Dobrotin as its group exploration manager. Dobrotin is a global expert in gold exploration with 35 years’ experience. He joins Shanta from Barrick Gold where he was a senior district geologist in Tanzania. He was previously the geology manager at Acacia Mining‘s Kenyan operations where he was directly involved in the discovery of the high-grade West Kenya Project, acquired by Shanta Gold in 2020.


NQ Minerals PLC (AQSE:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF) has said that Colin Sutherland will cease to be a director of the company and also cease acting as its chief financial officer effective from close of business on January 8, 2021, to pursue other interests. The group said Sutherland will remain as a consultant to the company to assist with key initiatives currently underway with respect to efforts to elevate NQ’s shares to trading on a recognised Tier-1 stock exchange.


Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD), the mineral exploration and development company, announced on Monday that it has received conversion notices in relation to its US$1.5mln unsecured convertible loan agreement with Riverfort Global Opportunities PCC Limited and YA II PN Ltd, details of which were announced on July 15, 2020. The investors have elected to convert a total amount of $300,242.88 (equivalent to GBP220,048.01), made up of a principal amount of $300,000.00 and accrued interest of $242.88, into 347,078,879 new ordinary shares of 0.03125p each in the company, at a price of 0.06340p per ordinary share. These conversions represent final repayment of the $750,000 first tranche of the loan agreement. The second drawdown of a further $750,000, as announced on October 27, 2020, remains outstanding.


EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT), a world-leading gasification technology solutions company for sustainable waste-to-energy projects, has announced the exercise of warrants over 12,000,000 new ordinary shares in the company at a price of 0.25p each and warrants over 30,773,543 new ordinary shares at a price of 0.33p each. The aggregate gross proceeds of these exercises receivable by the company amount to GBP131,553.


OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI), a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincare has announced that further to its announcement made on December 9, 2020, regarding the intention to appoint Christopher Brinsmead as a director of the company, the regulatory due diligence process required has been completed, and he joined the board as a non-executive director on January 1, 2021.


Tissue Regenix Group PLC (LON:TRX), the regenerative medical devices company, has announced that, following the Group’s announcement on December 4, 2020, Brian Phillips and Trevor Phillips have been appointed to its board as independent non-executive directors, Brian Phillips is now chair of the Audit Committee and Trevor Phillips is chair of the Remuneration Committee.


Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE), the development and production company focused on Georgia, announces that, following the transition of the Mirabaud Securities corporate broking team to Tennyson Securities, Tennyson has been appointed as the sole broker to the company, effective immediately.


Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) (NASDAQ:SLN), a leader in the discovery, development and delivery of novel short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need, today announced that company management will participate in a fireside chat at two upcoming investor conferences. These are: The H.C. Wainwright BioConnect 2021 Conference on January 11, 2021, at 6.00am EST (1.00pm GMT); and the ICR Conference 2021 on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 8,30am-9.10am EST (1.30pm-2.10pm GMT). Live webcasts of the presentations can be accessed via the Investors section of the company’s website at www.silence-therapeucs.com. An archived replay of the webcasts will be available for 60 days on the company’s website following the conference.

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