India-focused online fashion firm Koovs PLC (LON:KOOV) was the week’s biggest small cap gainer, leaping 21 per cent higher to 10.6p even though the company stated that it did not know of any reason behind the sudden share price jump.
The AIM-listed firm did take the opportunity to confirm that it is close to securing interim funding via a loan of £1.5million from one of its directors, Lord Waheed Alli.
Koovs said this interim funding will provide the company with cash resources until the end of August 2018.
Trend setter: India-focused online fashion firm Koovs PLC was the week’s biggest small cap gainer, leaping 21 per cent higher to 10.6p
Meanwhile, the fashion retailer said the board would continue to focus on cash preservation.
The firm had cash balances of £3.5m as of March 1 2018, with future monthly outgoings forecast to be £750,000 per month.
Among the resource minnows, Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) gained 32 per cent over the week to 3.2p after the explorer told investors that activity continues apace on the ground in Utah’s Paradox basin, and it is expecting to drill the first well in the project later this year.
The comments came after Rose increased its footprint in the Paradox basin, and as it continues to earn into a 75 per cent stake in an 80,000 acre area.
The company also highlighted that it has assembled a highly experienced operational team with a successful track record in the region.
Another oily gainer was Ascent Resources, up 23.5 per cent to 1p after the firm revealed it has begun a formal process for selling the company having gone from being ‘explorers to producers’ in 2017.
The AIM-listed group’s full-year results showed it produced revenue for the first time since 2013 and significantly reduced its debt during the year.
Ascent said it is looking for a partner with which to work to ‘maximise opportunities’ to develop its existing assets, but also declared it is open to offers for the company.
Also with numbers this week, business services provider Christie Group PLC (LON:CTG) was among the week’s top risers, gaining 22 per cent to 115p after reporting a strong set of full-year results.
The group, which struggled in 2016, saw operating profits more than treble to £3.8m in the year ended 31 December 2017, up from £1.1m a year earlier, on increased revenues of £71.6m, up from £64.5m in 2016.
In its statement, Christie Group’s chairman and chief executive David Rugg said 2018 ‘has started well’.
Fuelling growth: Rose Petroleum PLC gained 32% over the week to 3.2p after the explorer told investors that activity continues apace on the ground in Utah’s Paradox basin
Adding: ‘As a result, we anticipate our first half performance will be significantly ahead of last year’s first half performance.’
And RhythmOne PLC (LON:RTHM) shares gained nearly 19 per cent over the week to 214p after the digital ads group flagged up ‘at least’ a 900 per cent rise in its underlying earnings for the year just gone.
The firm, which designs ads for desktop, phones and tablets, expects adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) to be at least $14.0m in the year ended 31 March, compared with $1.4m last year.
Towards the end of the fiscal year, RhythmOne snapped up video adverts specialist YuMe for $26.5m.
The company said that it now expects larger synergies than it originally anticipated from that acquisition, which bodes well for the future.
Over the week, the FTSE AIM All-Share index was around 0.8 per cent higher at 1,033, albeit slightly underperforming bigger gains by the blue chips, with the FTSE 100 index up about 1.2 per cent to 7,353.
Among the week’s small cap fallers, Animalcare Group PLC (LON:ANCR) dropped 25 per cent to 200.05p after the vet pharmaceuticals business issued a profit warning.
Animalcare – which sells everything from chew toys to diagnostic instruments – said it expects revenues for the year just gone to rise by around ten per cent to £91.9m, but the outlook for 2018 isn’t quite so good.
Profit warning: Animalcare Group PLC dropped 25% to 200.05p after the vet pharmaceuticals business issued a profit warning
The group still expects earnings to be ‘significantly ahead’ of last year’s results but said they will be below expectations due to a ‘changing sales mix and competitive pressures’.
Elsewhere, engineering and tech recruiter Gattaca PLC (LON:GATC) saw its shares shed 12.8 per cent at 165p after it reduced its full-year underlying pre-tax profit forecast to 15 per cent below previous expectations as it reported interim results.
The group said that economic conditions had become more challenging in some of its sectors and territories since a trading update released in February, which alongside an ongoing programme of cost reduction led to the guidance downgrade.
In the first six months of its financial year, Gattaca saw underlying pre-tax profits decline 17 per cent to £6.9m compared to the same period last year, based on underlying revenues of £323.3m, a two per cent reduction on the first half of 2017.
Immupharma PLC (LON:IMM) was the week’s biggest faller, however, dropping 69 per cent to 44.5p on disappointment over top-line results from a phase III trial for its drug Lupuzor, used to treat autoimmune disease lupus.
The data revealed that although Lupuzor was more effective than a placebo – 52.5 per cent versus 44.6 per cent – because the response rate for those taking the non-active medication and the ‘standard of care’ levels were both so high, the end-point of having a statistically significant beneficial impact was not achieved.
Immupharma chairman Tim McCarthy said: ‘Whilst we are disappointed at the high response in the placebo plus standard of care group that resulted in statistical significance not being reached between the two treatment groups, we believe Lupuzor has the potential to bring a much needed safe treatment to the millions of Lupus sufferers around the world.’
And according to Northland Capital analyst Vadim Alexandre although Lupuzor needs further analysis the drug certainly isn’t a bust.
‘We need to see more data,’ Alexandre said. ‘There is a major unmet medical need and there has only been one drug out in the market in the last 50 years and that itself is not a perfect drug.’
Another biotech minnow, Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) was also a big faller, losing nearly 26 per cent at 12.22p after it raised £6.9mln, after expenses, via a discounted placing and share subscription, with the cash to be used develop its three main drug candidates.
The placing and subscription of 57.411m shares, around 16.7 per cent of the firm’s issued share capital, was completed at a price of 12p a share, around a 31.4 per cent discount to Wednesday’s closing price.
The company is undertaking a £2m open offer of stock to include existing investors in the fundraising.
The combined proceeds will be used to fund a phase II trial of the company’s lead drug, SCIB-1, in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor to treat late-stage melanoma.