SMALL CAP MOVERS: City Pub Group; Novacyt


SMALL CAP MOVERS: City Pub Group soars as sales bounce back; Covid testing firm Novacyt shares sink as it faces £134m DHSC claim

LoopUp Group shares pulled out of their slump, soaring 88 per cent this week to 13.25p, after it won a contract for its Hybridium technology.

The contract is worth a minimum of €200,000 (£169,000) from Spanish telecoms company Telefónica.

LoopUp also gave a business update, saying it had won 44 cloud telephony contracts, comprising 31 last year and 13 so far during FY2022.

‘This performance places the group on track to meet its full-year target of securing 50 additional contract wins in FY2022,’ it said.

The City Pub Group shares rose 18% after it revealed trading last year was ahead of 2019 levels

Clontarf Energy achieved the rare feat of issuing shares at a discount and then seeing its share price take off.

The oil & gas exploration company raised £3.5million by placing 1.4billion shares at 0.25p a share via several brokers based in Australia. The newly issued shares form around 61.7 per cent of the company’s enlarged share capital.

On the day the announcement of the share placing was announced, the shares were trading at 0.29p; they were up to 0.375p on Friday.

The company said it has been evaluating a number of different projects across various jurisdictions, in particular advanced gas exploration prospects in Australia.

Perhaps it is not such a rare feat to achieve a share price rise after a fundraising, for Bonhill Group shot up 22 per cent to 7p after it launched an open offer and a conditional placing of shares at 5.5p.

The company is looking to raise £1.2million to boost its working capital.

On top of that, Keras Resources advanced 18 per cent to 0.115p after it announced it is raising £1.95million via a placing and broker option at 0.12p per share, following on from its acquisition of the Diamond Creek phosphate mine at the end of March.

The new shares were issued at a 7 per cent premium to the current share price, and £1.2million has already been committed by a cornerstone investor, First Uranium Resources.

Jersey Oil and Gas seems like an odd name for a company focused on the North Sea but I suppose no one wants to the narrow English Channel turned into even more of an obstacle course by scattered oil rigs.

The company’s shares added around a third to their value this week after it said its Greater Buchan Area farm-out is generating widespread interest.

Initial engagement and screening have led to Jersey Oil being actively engaged with multiple serious counterparties of scale, with ongoing due diligence involving two-way collaborative workstreams.

Pubs have had a hard time since the first lockdown but things are looking up for The City Pub Group, which issued full-year results this week.

The shares rose 18 per cent to 94p after the company revealed that by November of last year it was trading ahead of 2019’s level.

It was a grim week for Empyrean Energy which said it will reassess all the drill data from its Jade prospect offshore China after the well log indicated no oil in the target reservoir.

The wireline logs are not expected to change the initial interpretation of no oil pay seen on logging while drilling, the company’s statement added.

The shares lost three-quarters of their value over the course of the week.

Covid testing company Novacyt has been issued with a £134.6m claim by the government over a protracted contract dispute

Covid testing company Novacyt has been issued with a £134.6m claim by the government over a protracted contract dispute

Kropz, an emerging African phosphate producer and developer, saw its stock market value slump by a third after it had to take out a bridging loan at a 14 per cent interest rate to tide over its Kropz Elandsfontein operation to the end of the month.

Production of sufficient phosphate rock concentrate at the project for the first bulk sale will be achieved later in the second quarter than originally expected, thus necessitating the loan.

Finally, shares in Novacyt SA – a byword for price volatility – dived by a fifth after the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) issued a claim against the company.

The specialist in clinical diagnostics has been in dispute with the DHSC for some time in respect of a supply contract announced on 29 September 2020. and this week the DHSC issued a claim for £134.6million relating to this contract. The claim amount is broadly in line with the disputed fourth-quarter 2020 revenue, as previously announced by the company.

Novacyt said it continues to believe it has strong grounds to defend the claim and assert its contractual rights, including in relation to recovering outstanding sums due from the DHSC.

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