Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Wednesday 26 August 2020

26th August 2020

In the news

  • UN-backed Green Climate Fund is facing serious internal misconduct complaints, including allegations of sexism and harassment.
  • Secondary school pupils will now have to wear masks in school after government reverses its guidance.
  • Sally Collier, the chief regulator of Ofqual, quits after A-level confusion.
  • McDonald's says it is investigating whether former CEO Steve Easterbook covered up misconduct by other employees.

Politics today

  • Government remains in recess.

Stock market moves

  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 and Eurostoxx 600 have both opened down this morning.
  • Asian stocks have marginally fallen t0day as optimism on US-China trade talks dissipated. The Topix is down 0.4%, with the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 both flat.
  • US futures were little changed on Tuesday night after the S&P 500 closed at a new record high.
  • Sterling has marginally risen to the euro, but fallen to the dollar.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Polymetal International PLC Half-Year Report
  • Revenue in 1H 2020 increased by 21% to $1,135m compared to 1H 2019.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $616m, an increase of 53% year-on-year.
  • Group Total Cash Costs were $638/GE oz for 1H 2020, down 4% year-on-year.
  • Vitaly Nesis, CEO, said: “We are pleased to report a strong financial performance in the first half of the year amidst a challenging global backdrop. Favourable commodity prices and our tight cost control, as well as the impact of foreign exchange and improved grades, drove a significant increase in the Group’s earnings, cash flow and dividends. Importantly, we’ve been able to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our people, communities, and operations. Our key development projects continue to progress on schedule”.
Provident Financial PLC Interim results for six months ended 30 June 2020
  • Group statutory loss before tax of £28.0m (H119 PBT: £43.1m). 
  • Strong capital and liquidity positions built during the period with regulatory capital of £705m at the end of June. 
  • Total Group liquidity at the end of June stood at £1.2bn, including c.£1bn held by Vanquis Bank.
  • Malcolm Le May, CEO, said: “Looking forward, our strong financial position will mean that we can keep helping, and responsibly lending to, our customers, many of whom are key workers, as we, and they, face the challenge of furlough support ending and unemployment rising in the coming months. Provident Financial has performed robustly in the first half of the year because we focused on our customers, colleagues and strengthening our balance sheet for the challenges the pandemic would bring. In fact financial and operational performance were better than expected, and therefore we have decided to repay all furlough support to the government. We believe this is the right thing to do, and on behalf of customers have also advocated the government should support wider funding for the sector. Our market will grow due to the pandemic, but at present it appears the supply of credit into the market is decreasing, which cannot be a good outcome for customers, nor a public policy one for the UK.”
Petropavlovsk PLC 2020 Interim Results
  • Revenue increased by 19% to $106.2m (30 June 2019: $89.2m).
  • Cash cost down by 4.7% to $48.8/t (30 June 2019: $51.2/t).
  • Profit of $5.9m (30 June 2019: loss of $25.2m).
  • Peter Hambro, Chairman, said: “We are pleased that much has been achieved in the first half of 2020. That said, continuous improvement is our goal and we are not resting on our laurels. We believe that the foundations of our Company are in place for further enhancement in operational and financial performance. Looking to the future, we are committed to ensuring that IRC continues to prosper and grow in a sustainable manner. We shall increase our production from our world-class assets to maximise shareholders’ value. We would like to thank our stakeholders for their continued support.”
EQTEC PLC* Financial close & signing of contract with ewerGy
  • EQTEC plc announces that it has signed an Equipment Sale and Services Contract with German EPC company, ewerGy GmbH, operating in Greece through its local EPC partner, ECO Hellas SA. 
  • Financial close for the Plant has occurred, with construction of the Plant expected to begin next month and complete in Q4 2021.
  • David Palumbo, CEO, said: “EQTEC’s cooperation with ewerGy and ECO Hellas continues to strengthen and deliver results and we are pleased to have signed an equipment sales and services contract with them. With the strong and increasing appetite from traditional banking institutions to provide financing for projects applying EQTEC’s advanced gasification technology, we look forward to commencing the construction of Greece’s first waste to energy gasification plant, which is fully permitted and fully funded.”