Audioboom Group PLC (LON.BOOM) is being pretty upbeat about the future, after it reported increased revenues and reduced losses.

The podcast specialist saw a 20% rise in full year revenues to $26.8m while losses fell by 42% to $1.7m. The company said 2021 was set to be “a breakthrough year” with profitability in sight.

Chief executive Stuart Last, CEO of Audioboom, said: ” In 2020 Audioboom strengthened its position as one of the largest independent podcast companies in the world, delivered record revenue and EBITDA performance…The business has delivered this growth despite the challenges we faced as Covid-19 disrupted global media.

“We have expanded globally through strategic regional partnerships, seen impressive growth in revenue from our advertising tech, and launched creatively impactful Audioboom Original programming. Most importantly, our combination of content, monetisation and technology is unique amongst our peers and is the driving force behind our growth.”

Its originals included Raising A Pro, Crime Weekly (a co-production with Main Event Media) and RELAX! with Colleen Ballinger and Erik Stocklin. Since the year end it has extended its partnership with Formula 1 until 2023, and will produce F1: Beyond The Grid and F1 Nation podcasts.

On current trading, Last  said the company had already signed advertising bookings representing more than 80% of the current market expectations for full year revenue.

The company’s shares have climbed 4.32% or 19p to 459p.

1.15pm: Kitchen maker upbeat on sales

John Lewis of Hungerford PLC (LON.JLH)  has issued a positive trading update and seen its shares build up a strong increase.

The kitchen and furniture maker – not to be confused with the department store group as it is probably tired of hearing – saw flat sales in the six months to December. But losses were cut from £389,000 to £213,000, helped by cost savings and government pandemic support.

Its London showrooms were busy as people wanted to complete their home improvements, but outside the capital a shortage of trade people hit its business.

In common with many others, it is benefitting from the accelerated switch to online shopping during the pandemic, helped by investment in digital campaigns and an improved website.

On current trading it said: “The total of all despatched sales and forward orders is £8.3 million, which is 30% ahead of the corresponding period in the previous year, which was prior to the first lockdown beginning on 23 March 2020. Quotation activity within the business continues to be substantially up on the previous year which reflects a sustained consumer interest in home improvements…

“Given the current levels of uncertainty, the Board has considered a number of scenarios in modelling the financial out-turn for the current financial year.   Our central scenario assumes no further delays to the proposed Government Roadmap and that we see the showrooms re-open fully on the currently scheduled date of 12 April 2021. Our central scenario reflects the strength of current trading and projects a profitable second half of the year. Under this scenario we also expect to enter the new financial year to June 2022 with an order book which will be higher than in recent years.”

The company’s shares have added 12.5% or 0.1p to 0.9p.

10.57am: Mobile content group boosts revenues with new deal

Mobile Streams PLC (LON.MOS) is on the rise after it unveiled a contract with online gaming developer Quanta Media Group.

Quanta will use the company’s Streams data platform in a deal worth up to £480,000 over 4 years, with a minimum £10,000 per month for at least a year. It will increase monthly Streams revenue from April to around £25,000 per month. 

The two companies will also partner to help grow Mobile Streams’ legacy mobile gaming business.

Quanta founder Andrew Deeks said: “We feel that utilising the Streams platform will give us an enormous advantage when it comes to our content creation. Not only that, but we see many other opportunities to grow in partnership. Through our expertise in the carrier billing, gaming and online gambling markets we have identified numerous areas of potentially massive growth for the MOS legacy business – including, but not limited to, utilising it’s IP and gaming infrastructure to help drive growth in our online iGaming portfolio. We see this contract as just the start of a great and growing partnership.”

Mobile Streams’ shares are up 26.09% or 0.06p to 0.29p.

9.56am: Miner upbeat on outlook and funding

Kazera Global PLC (LON.KZG) is sparkling after a positive update on both its diamond production and a proposed funding package.

The company said its final tally of sorted diamonds had increased from the 220 carats expected last month to 242 carats. Once sold and assuming an average price of $200 per carat, this will cover the costs of the South African operation. Going forward it expects diamond production to be “materially profitable.”

Meanwhile a €9,130,000 investment package from a Namibian investor is close to being completed, with the necessary due diligence believed to have been completed.

Kazera chief executive officer Larry Johnson said: “The proposed investment will be transformational in allowing us to build the water pipeline, construct the tailings dam that will enable us to recover water whilst facilitating waste storage in an environmentally sound manner, and to bring the processing plant back on line. It will also allow us to continue to explore the vast property with a third phase core drilling program, so adding further valuable resource to our world class tantalum and lithium assets.

The news has seen the company’s shares jump 42.86% or 0.53p to 1.75p.

8.36am: Mattress group beats expectations

Producing the two best matresses in the UK and the best in France has to count for something, and Eve Sleep PLC (LON.EVE) is starting to see the benefits.

Full year revenues for the company, which describes itself as a sleep wellness brand, rose by 6% to £25.2m despite some supply issues, while losses were cut from £12.1m to £2m. The new year has also started well, with revenues in the first two months up 16%.

It has been rebuilding its business since 2018 to concentrate on reducing cash burn and losses, and chief executive Cheryl Calverley said that process was essentially complete. She said:”We move now to accelerate our business, with a mind to leveraging our strong brand, efficient marketing, high performing products and excellent customer service to allow us to diversify across markets, channels and categories. But we do so carefully. Successful e-commerce businesses win through balancing growth, with customer experience and business resilience, and we will do the same. We seek sustainable, profitable growth and will avoid growth at any cost, and certainly to the detriment of customer experience or business resilience. We’re excited about the opportunities the next few years bring, and we now have a business ready to grasp those opportunities.”

It benefitted from an increase in online shopping during the pandemic, not to mention reduced competition from bricks and mortar stores shut during lockdown. It has partnered with Boots for a range of sleep gifts, which sold out over Christmas and has even moved into the medical cannabis market with oil drops to help relaxation.

In a sign of confidence it launched a new TV campaign running every Sunday night on Channel 4.

As part of its Brexit preparations it said mattress manufacturing has been largely localised in the UK for the UK and Irish markets and Belgium for sales to the French market.

News of the better than expected results has relaxed investors, with its shares up 12.26% or 0.77p to 7.05p.

Crimson Tide (LON.TIDE), the mobile data specialist, has climbed 10.6% or 0.35p to 3.65p after its announced a £1.2m contract for catering group Compass for its mpro5 software platform.

Chairman Barrie Whipp said: “Whilst we have maintained a diverse range of smaller contracts with Compass Group for some time, this contract, to ensure compliance across its food services, is a significant demonstration of the ability of mpro5 to cover a wide range of processes and the company’s ability to broaden its reach within existing customers and enhance value over time.”

Proactive news headlines

XLMedia PLC (LON: XLM) said it has agreed to buy the business and assets of Sports Betting Dime (SBD) for about US$26.0mln (£18.5mln), enhancing its market position in the rapidly growing regulated US sports betting market.

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has entered the Australian market after the video game services firm unveiled its acquisition of a controlling stake in Melbourne-based group Tantalus Media.

Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) said it has raised £181mln to accelerate the development of its solid oxide electrolysis and fuel cell technology. In another separate release after Wednesday’s close, the hydrogen-focused commpany reported revenues and other income of £33mln for the 18 months to 31 December, 2020.

Cloud-based editing software developer Blackbird PLC (LON:BIRD) has been enlisted by news and sports group LiveU to “speed up the production process and engage viewers with enriched live and video-on-demand content”.

Tissue Regenix PLC (LON:TRX) said the initial phase of its expansion at a site next to its existing operation in San Antonio, Texas, is complete.

Plant Health Care plc (LON:PHC) said it intends to raise up to US$10mln via a placing and subscription at a price of 14p per share. It said the funds will be used to invest in the development of its PREtec product and accelerate new product launches, making hirings to support accelerated growth, and strengthen the balance sheet.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) said drilling has started on the copper-gold Magellan project in Cyprus.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR, ASX:THR, OTCQB: THORF) said three priority targets have been identified for drilling at its Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain uranium-vanadium project in Colorado.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) highlighted multiple value drivers as it updated investors on its preparations for drilling in Trinidad and Suriname.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) highlighted its growth prospects and confidence in ‘material and sustainable dividend distribution’ as it provided its financial results for 2020.

KR1 PLC (LON:KR1) said it has appointed Mona Elisa, a former star trader at Goldman Sachs, as a non-executive director of the company.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) said trading has been strong so far in 2021, with revenues in the first quarter expected to be some 20% higher year-on-year at roughly €1.8mln.

Capital Ltd (LON:CAPD) lifted its final dividend 86% as it reported a net cash balance of $5.0mln at its December year after 12 months where revenue and profit both grew strongly.

Sureserve Group Plc (LON:SUR) said it is beginning the formal process to appoint a new independent non-executive chairman and a new chief executive amid a board reshuffle.

ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) said it is today posting a circular and notice of an extraordinary general meeting of the company to decide whether or not to accept last week’s US$516mln offer from Innovative Energy. The meeting will be held on Monday 12 April 2021 at 2pm (4pm Cairo time) at the ADES premises in Sheikh Zayed City, Egypt, and the circular will be made available on the company’s website ( 

S&U PLC’s (LON:SUS) chairman, deputy chairman finance director and the chief executive of Advantage Finance will provide a live presentation of the company’s full year results for the year ended 31 January 2021 via the Investor Meet Company platform on 31 March 2021 at 3.30pm. Questions can be submitted in advace by existing and potential shareholders.

SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) will host a retail investor call on Monday 22 March at 3pm, to present the full year results for 2020, followed by a Q&A with chief executive Mark Reid and chief financial officer Nick Box. Investors that wish to receive the conference call details are advised to contact the company’s financial PR advisers Camarco at the following address: [email protected]

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