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News & Tips: Punch Taverns, Moss Bros, Afferro Mining, WH Ireland, Rockhopper, Centamin & more

Equities are flat this morning amid mixed economic data including a warning on the UK’s AAA rating outlook.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Sell recommendationPunch Taverns (PUB) has said that average profit per pub is stable amid challenging economic conditions. Management expects the full year performance to meet expectations.

Simon Thompson recommendationMoss Bros (MOSB) has reported good trading figures with like for like sales up by 3.7 per cent in the opening 19 weeks of the second half. Overall sales for the year to date are up 4.9 per cent on a like for like basis.

Afferro Mining (AFF), which yesterday announced the settlement of a tax issue with the Liberian government has today said that has agreed a deal to bring forward a deferred payment of $50m for the sale its stake in Severstal Liberia Iron Ore. Afferro now has $90m in the bank. We keep our buy rating.

German property investor Taliesin Property Fund (TPF) has announced that the proposed acquisition of a holding company which owns 16 properties in Berlin is close to being finalised. Buy.

KEY STORIES:

Centamin (CEY) has said that the halting of fuel supplies to its Sukari mine has been reversed and that the retrospective claim for payment of $65m issued earlier this week will now be considered as part of a separate court case. There is no update yet on the resumption of gold exports.

WH Ireland (WHI) has updated investors on trading, reporting a decent performance in difficult market conditions but gives no update on yesterday’s abrupt departure of chief executive Paul Compton.

Falkland oil explorer Rockhopper Exploration (RKH) has issued interim results which confirm the progress made over the past six months including the farm out agreement for the Sea Lion field, which is now full financed. The company ended the period with cash of $231m.

Volex (VLX) has issued a warning that a softening of demand across all sectors means full year revenues and profits will come in lower than previous expectations.

Retailer Laura Ashley (ALY) has seen like for like sales rise by 4.9 per cent in the 19 weeks to 8 December. E-commerce sales are ahead by 22.6 per cent.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

Media business Ten Alps (TAL) has reported a decline in revenue from £20.8m to £17.1m and a loss of £670,000 compared with a £490,000 profit last year.

The Aim market today welcomes a new entrant in the form of Venn Life Sciences (VENN). The clinical research business has raised £2.5m.

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