Wynnstay Group PLC (AIM:WYN) is another company to see its shares jump after saying it was performing better than expected.


The agricultural supplies group said trading since its June interims, in particular in the key trading month of October, had been strong across the board.


Certain areas did better than the company had anticipated, especially fertilizer blending and joint venture activities. So it now expects full year underlying pre-tax profit to be significantly ahead of current market forecasts.


It said: “The second half performance has been supported by strong farmgate prices across almost all categories, which has continued to buoy farmer confidence and farm re-investment. After last year’s historically poor harvest, tonnages and yields have reverted to more normalised levels, benefiting the group’s arable activities in the important final quarter of the financial year, and grain prices remain strong. The Specialist Agricultural Merchanting Division experienced strong demand from farmer customers across all major categories.”


It has avoided any significant disruption caused by the current inflationary and supply chain issues, although some imported product lines had experienced delays and it warned this could continue.


It believes the short and medium term outlook for agriculture and farm commodities in the UK remained positive: “As the agricultural sector adapts to the Agricultural Act 2020 and a greater focus on environmental priorities, the group remains very well-positioned to support farmers and to increase its market share.”


Its shares have climbed 42p or 7.92% to 572p.


2.41pm: Marlowe boosted by organic growth and acquisitions


Marlowe PLC (AIM:MRL) is in demand after saying full year profits would be ahead of market expectations.


The specialist in software for regulatory compliance said first half revenues rose 61% to GBP134.5mln and adjusted profits jumped 127% to GBP15.2mln.


It benefited from organic growth and also completed twelve acquisitions during the period. It has made four more during the second half so far.


It said: “The second half of the financial year has started well, with strong demand experienced across the business, the integration programmes of all completed acquisitions remaining on track with synergies being achieved in line with expectations. In addition, the group’s pipeline of earnings-enhancing acquisitions is buoyant.”


Its current run rate annualised revenue is around GBP335mln and run rate annualised adjusted EBITDA is approximately GBP60mln.


And it expects to “materially overachieve” against a 2024 target run rate revenue of around GBP500mln and adjusted EBITDA of GBP100mln.


Its shares are up 39p or 4.64% at 880p.


2.21pm: Hutchmed moves higher after start of trials for lung cancer treatment


Hutchmed (China) Ltd (AIM:HCM, NASDAQ:HCM, HKG:0013) has moved higher after the start of new trials for a treatment for lung cancer.


The phase 3 trial involves Hutchmed’s orphathy (savolitinib), an oral MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor (“TKI”), in combination with AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso epidermal growth factor receptor.


The first patient received their first dose on November 22, 2021, and the study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of orphathy in combination with Tagrisso, compared to the current treatment option.


Hutchmed shares are up 3.77% or 18p at 496p.


11.43am: PetroTal under pressure as protestors block oil barges in Peru


PetroTal Corp. (AIM:PTAL, TSX-V:TAL) has seen its shares slip after protestors disrupted its operations at its flagship Bretana oil field in Peru.


It said the oil field was safe and producing, but protestors seeking assistance from the government of Peru had blocked access to the docks, preventing the company from loading oil barges.


It added: “PetroTal will curtail production to manage its oil tank storage capacity, however, if this situation persists, a full field shut down may be required within a few days due to the lack of excess storage capacity and route to market.


“PetroTal is in direct communication with the local communities and the government to enact a quick resolution to this situation. As previously announced by PetroTal, implementation of a community social development fund that should be acknowledged and supported by the Peruvian government, will go a long way to providing harmony and equitable social development.


PetroTal is down 11.08% or 2.3p at 18.45p.


10.46am: Tintra shares jump after it unveils AI joint venture


Tintra PLC (AIM:TNT) has jumped by nearly a quarter after unveiling an artificial intelligence joint venture.


The technology group has linked up with Time Machine Capital 2 Limited – a specialist in applying AI in financial services – to use AI in international payment services.


Under the terms of the joint venture, Tintra will issue new shares and warrants to Time Machine and in return will receive 50% of its Finsensr affiliate, which will develop the payments system.


Tintra said it is “creating an open, integrated banking capability that will provide software as a service to its clients sitting on its own global banking platform… The system to be developed in Finsensr is expected to provide the cornerstone element of this platform.”


Tintra has climbed 11.5p or 23.71% to 60p.


9.40am: Mulberry moves higher as it returns to profit


Mulberry Group (AIM:MUL) is in fashion after the luxury brand best known for its handbags moved back into profit.


Half year revenues rose 34% to GBP65.7mln with a GBP2.4mln loss turned into a GBP10.2mln profit, although that included a one-off profit of GBP5.7mln from the disposal of its lease in Paris.


Sales in the UK recovered strongly once its stores re-opened by April. The sales lost from the absence of tourists in the UK and the rationalisation of stores in Europe were replaced by strong growth in Asia.


The positive trends in the first half continued into October and November with improving store sales, a strong digital performance and continuing growth in Asia.


It said: “The comparative period in the prior year was affected by sporadic closures and lockdowns which make direct comparisons difficult but, subject to unforeseen events, sales are expected to continue to grow in the second half. Retail revenue in the 8 weeks to 20 November increased 35% compared to the same period last year.”


It plans to increase its marketing spend in the second half to boost awareness of its brand and it is also putting more emphasis on sustainability.


It said: “The Lowest Carbon collection, crafted from the world’s lowest carbon leather and using a local and transparent supply chain, launched on 22 November 2021…


“This collection represents the future of the business as we continue to build a network of regenerative and organic farms to supply the hides to create our leather across the UK and Europe. The capsule was also featured at the recent G20 Summit in Rome.”


It has managed to avoid the supply chain issues hitting many companies, with its two Somerset factories supplying half of its handbags, and in the wake of the pandemic it cut 25% of its workforce to rationalise the business.


Chief executive Thierry Andretta said: “The bold decisions we have taken with regards to focussing on our UK production capabilities, means that we are well placed for the festive trading period and beyond.”


One possible cloud on the horizon is the impact of any further lockdowns.


But the shares have shrugged off such concerns and have climbed 73p or 24.17% to 375p.


8.51am: MyHealthChecked climbs by more than a fifth after new COVID-19 test launch


MyHealthChecked PLC (AIM:MHC) is looking healthy after the launch of two COVID-19 home testing services for travellers entering and leaving the UK.


Today it begins selling a rapid antigen test and a verification service for residents and vaccinated travellers arriving in England from a non-red list country, followed by a Fit to Fly rapid test for travellers leaving the UK launching next week.


The service will use the CE approved, ISO certified and UK government validated FlowFlex lateral flow test, and MyHealthChecked has also partnered with medical specialists Mediskills, who will provide NHS professionals to verify test results as part of this service.


The news has seen the company’s shares jump 21.95% or 0.45p to 2.5p.


Zenova Group PLC (AIM:ZED) has also moved higher after the fire safety group won a contract to supply its products in four European countries.


The three-year contract, which starts on 1 January 2022, is with a Spanish company that will become an authorised distributor of Zenova products and will promote and sell them to its clients in Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.


The distributor has committed to purchase at least EUR9.8mln worth of Zenova’s products over the next three-years, with EUR1.8mln due in 2022. The products involved include Zenova’s insulating render, insulating paint and fire-resistant paint, plus fire safety products the company plans to launch in 2022.


Chief executive Tony Crawley said: “This contract…provides us with a foothold in Europe, which is a substantial market in which we believe there is significant opportunity for growth. We are confident of building Zenova into a provider of independently certified and globally recognised fire-safety and temperature management products and solutions.”


Zenova shares are up 25.71% or 4.5p to 22p.

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