AIM movers: H&T hit by weak jewellery sales, while Brave Bison beats expectations

Digital advertising services provider Brave Bison (LON: BBSN) generated slightly better than expected 2023 revenues, but the pre-tax profit estimate has been increased by 13% to £3.6m. New contract wins have helped to boost scale. The share price improved 18.9% to 2.2p.

Energy supplier Yu Group (LON: YU.) has sparked another upgrade with its latest trading statement, which reveals 2023 trading was well above previous estimates. Liberum raised its pre-tax profit estimate from £32.9m to £41m. Cost reductions, hedging and operating leverage all helped to boost margins. The dividend estimate has jumped from 6.4p/share to 17.2p/share. The share price jumped 11.7% to 1245p, which is the highest level since 2018.

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Serinus Energy (LON: SENX) is preferred bidder for the KON-13 block in the onshore Kwanza basin in Angola. Serinus will be allocated a 55% working interest. This licence covers more than 1,000 square kilometres and is underexplored. The share price increased 10% to 2.75p.

Construction and asset management software provider Eleco (LON: ELCO) generated a 22% organic increase in 2023 recurring revenues to £20.7m with an additional £2m coming from the acquisition of BestOutcome. The move to a SaaS-based business is gaining momentum. The 2023 earnings estimate has been increased by 3% to 3.8p/share. The share price rose 6.9% to 93p.

FALLERS

Vast Resources (LON: VAST) has raised £1.26m at 0.1025p/share. The cash will fund development of the Baita Plai mine in Romania to access higher-grade ore. Productivity should be improved by investment through developing the decline. The share price fell 18.9% to 0.1075p.

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December retail jewellery sales at H&T (LON: HAT) were weak and this has led to profit downgrades, even though the pledge book of the pawnbroker was higher than expected at £130.9m. Foreign exchange business has not grown as fast as hoped. The 2023 pre-tax profit forecast has been reduced from £29.5m to £26.6m. The dividend expectations have been trimmed to 17p/share. Wage rises will hamper progress this year, but 2024 pre-tax profit is still expected to improve to £33.5m. The share price dipped 13.3% to 345p – the lowest level for more than three years.

Great Western Mining Corporation (LON: GWMO) has secured an agreement with Crowne Point Gold & Silver for exploring the western part of the Huntoon Valley in Nevada. This is a continuation of a previous agreement. Crowne Point will be assigned a 50% interest in nine of Great Western Mining’s claim.  There could be copper and precious metals in the area. Copper and base metal discoveries will be shared 50/50, while Crowne Point will have 70% of gold and precious metals discoveries. The share price declined 12.9% to 0.0575p, but it is still higher than one week ago.

Recruitment services provider Staffline (LON: STAF) estimates a small decline in profit in 2023. Temporary recruitment gained market share, while permanent recruitment continues to be weak. Net cash was better than expected at £3.8m. Zeus has trimmed its 2023 pre-tax profit forecast from £6.8m to £6.5m but continued tough trading conditions mean that the 2024 figure has been cut by one-third to £5.6m. The share price decreased 8.16% to 22.5p.

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