Investment group Gunsynd PLC (LSE:GUN) has seen its shares shoot up after a positive update.

The company – which specialises in the natural resources, life sciences and alcohol beverage sectors – turned a GBP991,000 loss into a GBP2.01mln profit after tax last year.

This came after an impairment charge of GBP130,000 on its investment in Oyster Oil & Gas, partly due to a delay in the renewal of the company’s exploration licence and what it called “the fluid political situation in Madagascar.”

The company said: “The board is pleased that a number of Gunsynd’s private investments completed an IPO during the period at significant premiums to its original entry point, and further looks forward to the anticipated IPO of [B2B gaming company] Low6 and future drill results from Eagle Mountain and Rincon. The company is still well funded for the foreseeable future. Gunsynd maintains a low fixed cost structure and this will continue through volatile and uncertain conditions across global markets.

“The board is conscious of the ongoing economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Debate lingers over whether the effects are a temporary hiccup or the harbinger of structural changes.

“We are far from convinced that the current inflation level is just a blip, hence our positioning towards gold and copper. Copper also benefits from being a key infrastructure metal with the US and other countries seemingly determined to spend a vast fortune on so called infrastructure.

“We also believe regardless of how actually environmentally friendly the reality of electric vehicles is (let alone the logistics of everyone charging their cars at once) the dramatic push by governments towards this will be beneficial for nickel and lithium in particular.”

The company’s shares have climbed 15.17% to 1.03p.

2.34pm: Telecom Plus energised by failures of rival suppliers

Telecom Plus PLC (LSE:TEP) has rung up a good rise as it benefited from some of the problems elsewhere in the energy industry.

The company, which trades as Utility Warehouse and supplies energy and insurance services as well as telecoms, said half year revenues rose 6% to GBP371.3mln.

Adjusted pretax profits dipped from GBP27.7mln to GBP26.2mln after it increased a provision for an Ofcom fine for overcharging customers by GBP1mln.

As energy suppliers went under, the company has seen a pick up in the number of customers joining Utility Warehouse, with a net increase of over 15,000 new customers in October alone.

Andrew Lindsay, co-chief executive, said: “The recent energy crisis has brought a seven-year destructive price war to an abrupt end, and the subsequent spate of energy supplier failures has demonstrated the inherent flaws in the regulator’s policy of ‘competition at all costs’. Consumers now face a cost running into billions of pounds to tidy up the mess, so we welcome Ofgem’s commitment to prevent this situation from happening again, and to create a retail market that allows sustainable competition between suppliers, whilst enabling us to meet the challenges of the transition to net zero together.

“The emerging cost of living crisis is driving increasing numbers of new partners to join us, attracted by the flexible and meaningful extra income we offer in return for recommending our range of essential services (including what are currently amongst the UK’s lowest priced energy tariffs); this is an encouraging lead-indicator for our future growth.

“Our recent trading has set new records. With momentum and confidence building within our community of partners, and the recent paradigm shift in the retail energy market, we look forward to delivering around 10% growth in our customer base during the second half, and double-digit annual percentage growth thereafter.”

The company’s shares have jumpe 12.04% to 1452p on the news.

AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould said: “The UK energy market can be held up as a further example how price caps can create as many problems as they offer solutions but one firm which looks like it will be able to help stricken consumers, recruit more staff and keep shareholders happy all at the same time is Telecom Plus.

“The multi-utility, which provides energy, broadband, mobile and insurance to households and small businesses, is profitable, cash generative and has limited debt, so it is no surprise to see the firm attract both new partners who can sell its wares and new customers who are looking for a reliable supplier…

“The interim results will do their bit to reassure on all fronts. Customer numbers rose slightly to 660,700 and the total number of services supplied to just over two million, as customers continue to take multiple services from the utility provider.”

12.31pm: Conygar Investment Company climbs as it returns to profit

Property group Conygar Investment Company PLC has built up a good rise after moving back into profit.

The firm, whose properties include the Island Quarter in Nottingham and Cross Hands in Carmarthenshire, said its net asset value had jumped by 28.5% to GBP114.1mln at the year end.

It also turned an GBP8.2mln loss into a GBP28.2mln profit .

Chief executive Robert Ware said: “The speed and effectiveness of the UK’s vaccination programme has enabled a quicker and stronger economic recovery than many commentators predicted. This success has been mirrored in the real estate sector with commercial property values increasing in the last year, on average by approximately 7%, driven by higher transaction volumes and the hardening of yields across much of the market. Our results have benefited from this economic bounce and reflect a significant improvement to those reported in the previous year.

“Although we are acutely aware that a sustained economic recovery remains far from assured, and that the expectations within the real estate industry have changed markedly over recent years, we are increasingly confident that our property portfolio is well positioned to benefit both from the renewed market optimism and significant post COVID-19 social changes.”

Its shares are up 6.16% at 155p.

11.33am: Tremor International in demand as it confirms third party talks

Tremor International Ltd (AIM:TRMR) is in demand after the advertising technology company responded to reports of possible talks.

Some shareholders in Tremor have been demanding it seeks potential buyers, according to Sky News this week, which also said the company had held initial conversations and signed a non-disclosure agreement with a major US private equity firm about a potential takeover.

Today the company contirmed it had entered into a non-disclosure agreement with a third party, but added that no substantial discussions had yet taken place.

It said: “As a high growth technology company, Tremor is routinely engaged from time to time across a number of strategic discussions with both third parties and its shareholders and considers this normal course of business.”

It added that its underlying performance remained strong and it was confident of its future performance.

Its shares are up 6.51% or 38p at 622p

10.56am: Mirada broadcasts positive update on its Android set-top boxes

Mirada PLC (AIM:MIRA) has seen its shares brighten after a positive update.

The company, a software company focused on digital TV operators and broadcasters, announced it had now supplied one million set-top boxes powered by its Android TV offering.

Android TV – the operating system developed by Google, includes an app store, voice control and personalised recommendations.

Mirada said its set-top boxes accounted for around 5% of the 20 million Android boxes expected to be installed in 2021, according to research firm Omdia. That figure is expected to grow to 50 million by 2024.

Mirada chief executive Jose-Luis Vazquez said: “To have rolled out our Android TV Operator Tier set-top boxes at a rate of circa 17,000 per week despite the global chipset shortage and installation challenges posed by the pandemic is both a great achievement and strong validation of our decision to back this technology.

“Android TV is now seen as the gold standard in the industry, and having established ourselves as one of the world’s preeminent providers, we are incredibly excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead with both existing and prospective customers as market conditions continue to normalise.”

Mirada shares are up 30p or 4.29% to 730p.

9.30am: CML Microsystems moves ahead as it returns to profit

CML Microsystems Plc (LSE:CML) has climbed higher after moving back into profit.

The company, a specialist in emiconductors for global communications markets, saw half year revenues rise 30% to GBP8mln while it moved from a GBP0.3mln loss to a GBP1mln profit,

It said existing markets had shown signs of recovery and new products had been well received.

Managing director Chris Gurry said: “The board remains confident that continuing progress will be made through the second half of the year, delivering a very positive outcome for the financial year as a whole.”

Its shares are up 4.76% at 440p.

8.52am: Universe Group more than doubles after agreeing takeover deal

Shares in Universe Group PLC (AIM:UNG) are heading for the stars after the payment and loyalty systems group agreed a GBP33.1mln takeover.

The buyer is Professional DataSolutions Inc, a software group whose products are aimed at convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers.

It is offering 12p a share for Universe, and already has acceptances worth 51%.

In the market Universe shares have more than doubled, up 6p to 11.25p.

PDI said: “Universe will be better suited to a private company environment. This will release Universe from the costs associated with being a listed company as well as short term financial reporting. Further, with appropriate support and assistance from PDI, Universe will be able to concentrate on long term organic growth and strengthen its client proposition.”

Andrew Blazye, executive chairman of Universe, said: “Whilst the board and management team believe in the future of the business in its current guise, we welcome the opportunity for the Universe shareholders to realise their investment at a premium of 129% to yesterday’s closing price.

“With its focus on the Fuel and Forecourt market, and its commitment to investment in associated customer solutions, the Universe Directors believe that PDI will be an excellent partner to Universe and its management and employees. We believe the proposed transaction reflects these opportunities.”

Elsewhere Capital Metals PLC (LSE:CMET) has climbed 13.04% or 1.5p to 13p after an environmental impact assessment for its Eastern Minerals project in Sri Lanka was approved.

Chief executive Michael Frayne said: “The granting of the EIA is a considerable milestone for the company and demonstrates the Sri Lankan authorities’ support for the project and should enable us to meet our target of commencing commercial production in less than 12 months’ time…

“The timing of this milestone could not be better given the recent strengthening of mineral sands pricing and a positive medium-term outlook due to economic stimulus activity as well as decreasing supply from some large existing mines.”

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