Small & Mid-Cap Roundup: Drax, WH Smith, Empyrean, LoopUp Group

The FTSE 250 was up 0.2% to 20,536.3 and the AIM was down 4.2% to 1,020 in midday trading on Wednesday after a raft of London-listed companies reported.

Drax shares rose 5.1% to 835.7p as the renewable energy company’s earnings hit the top range of management expectations.

- Advertisement -

“In the first quarter of 2022 we delivered a strong system support performance as our reliable, renewable electricity continued to support UK energy security and helped to keep the lights on for millions of British homes and businesses,” said Drax CEO Will Gardiner.

Network International shares rose 1.9% to 247.6p after the group announced a 33% boost in revenue for Q1 2022 against Q4 2021.

“We have started the year strongly with 33% year-on-year first quarter revenue growth, supporting our ambition to be the fastest growing and most innovative customer centric payments business in the Middle East and Africa,” said Network International CEO Nandan Mer.

WH Smith shares dropped 5.8% to 14,227p following its swing back to a pre-tax profit of £18 million compared to its £38 million loss over the interim period.

- Advertisement -

“Our High Street business delivered a resilient and profitable performance in the period, despite the challenges facing the UK high street. During the period, our online businesses continued to perform well against a strong pandemic-related performance in the prior year,” said WH Smith CEO Carl Cowling.

“Looking ahead, we continue to invest in the business where we see attractive growth opportunities and have positioned the group well to benefit from the return of passenger numbers.”

LoopUp Group shares spiked 91% to 13,375p following the firm’s two-year €200,000 contract win with Telefónica, along with a management update noting that the company was on track to acquire its targeted 50 additional contract wins over 2022.

Sportech shares increased 13.5% to 37p after the group announced a 7p cash distribution per share amounting to £7 million following the £9.25 million sale of the company’s ‘Dominican Republic Lottery contract’ terrestrial lottery business reported in January 2022.

City Pub Group shares enjoyed a boost of 10.2% to 82.5p on the back of the firm’s 37% rise in revenue to £35.4 million against £25.8 million the previous year in its 2021 results.

The company said it expected continued strong trading across 2022.

“Following the reversal over the festive season, trading is now beginning to build in momentum and we look forward to an uninterrupted summers’ trading,” said City Pub Group chairman Clive Watson.

“We are emerging from the pandemic in the strongest financial position that we have ever been in and therefore have signalled our intention to recommence dividends in the autumn.”

1Spatial shares increased 8.9% to 42.5p following the group’s reported 10% rise in revenue to £27 million and a swing back to pre-tax profits of £220,000 against a loss of £1.4 million the previous year.

“This year has been one of solid organic growth, fuelled by a number of landmark wins, including high profile and national level contracts in each of our target markets,” said 1Spatial CEO Claire Milverton.

“It is extremely encouraging to see such positive early indicators of the success of our strategic growth plan.”

Empyrean Energy shares tanked 72.6% to 2.3p after its Jade well reached total depth with a reported lack of oil pay in the target reservoir.

“We are extremely disappointed with the results of the well, particularly after conducting a systematic and comprehensive technical analysis followed by running a safe drilling operation,” said Empyrean Energy CEP Tom Kelly.

GYG shares fell 20% to 34p after the company reported an operating loss of €6.1 million in 2021 against an operation profit of €1.2 million in 2020, alongside a pre-tax loss of €7.2 million compared to a pre-tax profit of €0.2 million the previous year.

Tandem Group shares dropped 10% to 360p after the firm announced the resignation of CEO Jim Shears scheduled for 6 May 2022.

Latest News

Subscribe to the UK Investor Magazine email newsletter

Register for our free email newsletter and receive the latest investment news, podcasts, event information and offers.

More Articles Like This

Tagdiv Cloud library - template content.