11.49am: Luxury design group boosts Asian presence

Interior design has been in the spotlight recently thanks to Boris Johnson’s antics, but that is not why Sanderson Design Group PLC (LON:SDG) is in demand at the moment.

The luxury interior design and furnishings group has just signed a licensing agreement for its Morris & Co brand in  Asia with Japan’s Sangetsu Corporation.

The two firms have worked together for a number of years already, but the new deal means Sangetsu will become the exclusive licensee of Morris & Co wallpapers in 14 countries in Asia and will also have non-exclusive rights in China and Hong Kong.

Sangetsu chief executive officer Steve Yasuda said: “Morris & Co is a long-loved brand in Japan and we are very much excited to create and launch new Morris & Co products for Japan, the east and southeast Asian markets through this strategic alliance with Sanderson Design Group.”

The deal has lifted Sandeson’s shares by 10p or 7.38% to 145.5p.

10.37am: Van hire group acclerates

White Van Man strikes again.

Redde Northgate PLC (LON:REDD) has seen its shares move up a gear after it said profits would be better than expected.

The commercial van hire specialist said total group revenues including vehicle sales were up 51% in the second half of the year, helped by the inclusion of figures from fleet management group Redde following its merger with Northgate in February 2020.

The total number of vehicles on hire grew 2% across the group, with good performances in the UK and Ireland, but with Spain broadly flat.

With the better than expected performance, the firm now expects full year profits to be “moderately” above City forecasts of between £83.3mln and £88mln, and in any case, not less than £92mln. 

Chief executive Martin Ward said: “Our integration plans have almost delivered the revised targets we set out on cost savings, well ahead of time, and well below the one-time cash costs to implement…

“We enter [the 2022 financial year] from a position of strength, and we look forward to updating on progress as we continue to execute on our strategy.”

Its shares are 4.73% or 17.28p better at 382.28p.

9.35am: Construction group sees strong demand

Stone and concrete specialist Marshalls PLC (LON:MSLH) has built up a good rise as it reported strong trading for the first part of the year.

In the four months to April revenues rose 46% to £191mln compared to the same time last year, which was of course disrupted by the first UK lockdown. Compared to 2019, growth was 6%.

There was good demand from the domestic market, improved trading in the public sector and commercial market, and further growth internationally.

With the positive trend continuing and strong order books, the company said the full year performance was likely to be ahead of its previous expectations.

The company’s shares have climbed 5.67% or 40.97p to 763.47p.

8.25am: Virtual reality group lifted by Chinese deals

VR Education Holdings PLC (LON:VRE) is in demand after boosting its presence in China.

The virtual reality technology company announced deals with its partner and 20% shareholder HTC Corporation, the Taiwanese consumer electronics giant, which are expeced to increase the rollout of its software platform Engage.

HTC said Engage, which is sold as Vive Sessions in China, would be included in the software bundle of its new headset. It also unveiled an agreement with HP to roll out Vive Sessions on new HP ProBook laptops sold inside China.

Appropriately the HTC announcements were made via two live virtual events held on the Engage platform. 

Earlier this month, VR Education announced that Engage had reached 100 commercial customers following its launch in May 2019.

Its chief executive David Whelan said: “We believe these announcements represent a major step in our China rollout. China is the fastest-growing immersive market in the world. We look forward to the many exciting opportunities on the horizon.”

The company’s shares have climbed 9.03% or 1.4p to 16.9p.

Also heading higher is Nanoco Group PLC (LON:NANO) after an update on its litigation against Samsung for the alleged wilful infringement of its intellectual property.

Its shares are up 14.46% or 3.71p to 29.36p after a hearing to interpret phrases relevant to the patents involved. In four of the five patents in the case, Nanoco’s constructions were upheld and in the fifth patent Nanoco and Samsung each had one construction upheld.

A trial date for a jury hearing has been set for October 2021, though this may yet be delayed.

Chief executive Brian Tenner said: “While this is just one further step in a lengthy process, it is positive in respect of the credibility of Nanoco’s patents and therefore maintains our confidence in our case that Samsung wilfully infringed our IP ahead of the trial in October.”

Proactive news headlines

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) said it has signed what it called a ‘milestone agreement’ with Corteva Agrisciences for its seed treatment application.

Primary Health Properties PLC (LON:PHP) said its rental collection has remained robust so far in 2021 as the healthcare facilities firm updated investors of its performance for the first quarter, while rental income from its existing portfolio continued to grow.

Great Western Mining Corporation PLC (LON:GWMO) said an initial six-hole drilling programme at the Trafalgar Hill prospect, part of the Olympic Gold project, has been completed “significantly ahead of schedule and under budget”.

Mode Global PLC (LON:MODE) has appointed Ryan Moore as its chief executive. Moore is an early investor in the fintech business and “has been closely involved in key strategic business decisions since inception”.

Synairgen PLC’s (LON:SNG) chief executive has hailed “exceptional progress” for the group over 2020 as it continued to develop its treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

Trident Royalties PLC (LON:TRR) said significant progress had been made by operators of several projects over which it holds royalties.

AfriTin Mining Ltd (LON:ATM) has raised £13mln of fresh funds in an oversubscribed share placing to expedite expansion and exploration at its flagship Uis tin mine in Namibia.

Powerhouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) said it has signed a loan agreement to provide up to £3.8mln to Protos Plastics to progress the development of the Protos plant, the first proposed commercial application of the company’s DMG waste plastic-to-hydrogen technology.

Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) announced the start of the underground decline at its Havieron gold-copper joint venture project in Western Australia. “This is a momentous step in the development of Havieron as a world-class gold-copper mine,” said Greatland chief executive Shaun Day.

Mosman Oil and Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN) has been informed that its request to extend the deadline for the work commitments for the EP145 exploration acreage has been approved by the Northern Territory Government.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) highlighted key results from a new preliminary economic assessment technical report for the Minto mine.

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL) notified investors of its name change to RM Social & Environmental Infrastructure Income PLC, to better reflect the trust’s recent investing activity.

Woodbois Ltd (LON:WBI) increased the size of an equity fundraising to receive £6mln, up from a proposed £5mln, amid strong demand.

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN)(NASDAQ:SLN) announced that it will participate in a fireside chat at the virtual RBC Capital Markets Global Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, May 19th at 8:35am US Eastern Time/1:35pm BST. An archived replay of the webcast will be available on the company’s website following the conference.

Zaim Credit Systems PLC (LON:ZAIM) said it has posted annual results and proxy voting forms ahead of its annual general meeting that will be held on 7 June in London. As the meeting will be closed, shareholders are strongly advised to appoint the chairman of the meeting as their proxy.

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) has posted its accounts ahead of its AGM on 8 June, which will be hosted via the Investor Meet Company platform on 8 June, allowing shareholders to register if they wish to join the AGM remotely and participate in the Q&A session.

IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) said chairman Neil Herbert acquired 150,000 shares at a price of 20p each as a result of an off-market transfer for a total consideration of £30,000, with managing director Vincent Mascolo also acquiring the same number of shares himself at the same price. 


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