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Tue, 26th Jul 2016
Danish group Unibio aims to be a world leader in its field, it is understandable then that the...
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Tue, 26th Jul 2016
Danish group Unibio aims to be a world leader in its field, it is understandable then that the group has been very busy since they last caught up with Proactive Investors. Unibio, which has a process that uses methane gas to produce animal feed, is currently advancing operations to complete and start-up a new plant in the coming months. Chief executive Henkrik Busch Larsen gave Proactive Investors the lowdown on the group’s growth strategy and he highlights that capturing just 1% of the animal feed protein production market could deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues. Unibio is now at the beginging of its foray into the huge US$500bn - or 1bn tonne per year - market and, as Busch points out, the opening of the plant and the pending start of deliveries to the company’s first client will mark an important catalyst. A public listing is still on the agenda for Unibio, though in the short term it is seeking to raise capital in a pre-IPO funding round.
Unibio to seek pre-IPO funding with new plant in Denmark
Mon, 25th Jul 2016
Having topped up the coffers with a £1.1mln funding for a new acquisition Versarien boss Neill Ricketts says shareholders have liked the group’s plans for its emerging graphene business. “We are extremely well supported, and we’ve got a great shareholder list,” the chief executive said in an interview with Proactive Investors’ Stocktube. Ricketts highlighted that shareholders are on board with the graphene focussed growth plans, and he is now looking forward to transforming the group and accelerating to get graphene products ‘out there’. This morning Versarien announced existing institutional shareholders Henderson Global Investors and Miton Asset Management took shares in what was a fully subscribed placing. The placing shares are being issued at 10p per share.
Versarien boss Neill Ricketts looks forward to accelerating graphene business
Mon, 25th Jul 2016
Having updated investors on key work with a definitive feasibility study for the giant Kun-Manie nickel project Amur Minerals Plc (LON:AMC) boss Robin Young says there are no real surprises but described ‘solid’ progress. “It [Kun Manie] has got a lot of activities going on,” the Amur chief executive said in an interview. He added: “this was a good chance to allow us to present where we stand in all the main key phases of the project, especially looking at metallurgy and again to track our progress as we advance the project towards a production decision and the ultimate construction.” Young told Proactive Investors’ Stock tube that metallurgy is a “very key aspect”, and he also talks through the other elements of the pivotal study which is being targeted for completion by the end of 2017.
Robin Young talks progress at Kun Manie as Amur advances with definitive feasibility
Fri, 22nd Jul 2016
Blood monitoring medical device maker Sphere Medical Holding PLC (LON:SPHR), has appointed renowned medtech distribution firm Burke & Burke as its exclusive distributor of its Proxima products in Italy. Company chief executive officer Dr Wolfgang Rencken said the company was very pleased to have bagged, in a key European market, a partner with considerable experience in point-of-care devices. “Italy is undoubtedly one of the big markets within Europe, right up there alongside UK, Germany and France,” Dr Rencken told Proactive Investors. “We feel it is a big step up and gives us access to this very important market,” he said, adding that the deal was a big endorsement of Proxima 4, the next generation of Sphere’s blood monitoring technology that remains on track to be launched by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Sphere chief revealed that he is very pleased with progress at the company’s manufacturing facility in Wales. “We managed to get the factory up and running very quickly, and we are now getting ready for prime time, when we launch Proxima 4.”
Sphere Medical getting ready for prime time
Fri, 22nd Jul 2016
In keeping with its policy of putting the results of pre-clinical work in the public domain for review by scientists, ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) has published positive data regarding its cell therapy for retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited disease that can cause blindness. Michael Hunt, chief financial officer (CFO), tells Proactive Investors that ReNeuron “is very keen to put what we do in the public domain … where the data are available for review by others”. The publication relates to data that was part of the pre-clinical package that was put before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); ReNeuron recently kicked off a Phase I/II clinical trial in the US to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of its human retinal progenitor cells. “It’s quite a small initial first-in-man study,” Hunt revealed, adding that these sorts of studies normally are small. “We’re sort of off the starting blocks and we’re treating patients now,” the CFO said. Hunt also reiterates some previously announced timelines on the US study. RP has been given orphan status, so the clinical development pathway should be swifter than it is for what might be termed more mainstream drugs.
ReNeuron publishes positive data from its FDA retinitis pigmentosa application
Fri, 22nd Jul 2016
Action Hotels PLC (LON:AHCG) is to develop a new mid-market hotel in Dubai Healthcare City. It will be the hotel developer and operator’s first Novotel-branded hotel and chief executive Alain Debare explains to Proactive Investors why the company prefers to work with partners rather than operate hotels under its own brand. “It is very important to partner with the leading hotel brands. We appreciate the operational expertise they bring to the table and more importantly the marketing muscle they are able to bring, which accounts for about 40% of the bookings,” Debare said. “As a result all of our hotels have been profitable in the first month,” he revealed. The new hotel is in an interesting and mature area of Dubai that has five big hospitals. It is currently served by five star hotels, which are doing very well, but Action Hotels, which operates three and four star hotels, thinks it has spotted a gap in the market, just before opportunities to build there start to dry up. If all goes well, the hotel should open for business in the first quarter of 2018, well in advance of Expo 2020, which will be hosted in Dubai.
Action Hotels’ proposed new Dubai hotel set for a flying start
Fri, 22nd Jul 2016
Patrick Tsang, chairman at Vale International Group, a newly-formed global holding company, talks to Proactive Investors about his plans to undertake the acquisition of "game-changing" finance and technology businesses to take advantage of increasing innovation within these sectors. Tsang believes Brexit will not change the attractiveness of London to foreign investors based in Asia in particular and that the fall in sterling actually represents another opportunity. The company is currently seeking a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Vale International: Brexit, an opportunity to invest in disruptive finance & technology businesses
Fri, 22nd Jul 2016
KCOM Group (LON:KCOM) is a leading provider of communications services and IT Solutions to organisations and consumers. The chief executive Bill Halbert says today's world is very different and there's a big shift taking place in what businesses and public sector organisations can do in the increasingly digital world. Halbert says a business like KCOM, which doesn't have the history and legacy in the pre-internet and IT world, is able to be very agile. He told Proactiveinvestors that it's crucial to be able to spot those technologies that are going to be ''technologies of the future'' and integrate them together to provide an answer to KCOM's customers. ''We are the disruptive challenger to the established traditional businesses'', Bill Halbert said.
KCOM fast becoming the challenger to the big IT companies
Fri, 22nd Jul 2016
Shaun Chilton, deputy chief executive of Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN), says the new products in its portfolio will deliver good growth for the pharmaceuticals group which has achieved a market capitalisation of almost £800mln after a transformational year. Chilton says that Ethyol which protects against the harmful effects of chemotherapy medications and radiation treatment “in the short term has the closest potential to do a Foscavir.” The latter is one of Clinigen’s most successful anti-viral treatments, and long term investors will have seen the product grow about five times in terms of sales since acquisition. In the medium term Cardioxane, Savene and new kid on the block Totect will gather momentum in what the boss describes as “a pretty exciting portfolio of products.” Ethyol is to be launched in the US in this half with other products to follow and assist Clinigen’s strategy to become a billion pound company. “We’ve got a unique business model in really high growth market sectors. We’ve made the right acquisitions, put the tight infrastructure in place. I think we’ve demonstrated in the last year we’re more than capable of growing really strongly. No reason why that can’t continue,” enthused a confident Chilton.
Clinigen on track for £1bln market cap - CEO
Thu, 21st Jul 2016
FairFx Group PLC (LON:FFX) remained open for business throughout the aftermath of the EU referendum vote, which is more than can be said for some of its competitors. Ian Strafford-Taylor, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), confessed to being surprised by the referendum result, but like any good boss, had prepared for either eventuality. “We did a lot of business over the period,” the CEO told Proactive Investors. It was a record week for the company, with heightened activity in the run-up to the vote, though there was a bit of a lull after the result came in. Activity is now picking up a bit again, Strafford-Taylor said. Current trading is strong, despite various macroeconomic concerns and some geophysical events, such as the recent coup attempt in Turkey. The CEO said there had already been some apprehension about travelling to Turkey prior to the recent uprising, and that holiday-makers spurning Turkey for other destinations would still find FairFx able to service their currency needs for alternative holiday spots.
FairFx enjoys Brexit bonanza, despite being surprised by the result
Thu, 21st Jul 2016
Move over Breedon Aggregates Ltd (LON:BREE), make way for Breedon Group, though Pat Ward, the group’s chief executive, thinks aggregates will always be a fundamental part of the business. The name change represents the company “growing up a bit”, in Ward’s view, and acknowledges “just how broad and significant our business has become.” The group is on the verge of completing the acquisition of Hope Construction Materials, which will see the company become the UK’s largest independent construction materials group, with the country's largest cement plant, around 60 quarries, and almost 200 ready-mixed concrete plants. The Hope acquisition broadens the geographical footprint of the business and makes some bolt-on acquisitions feasible, from a logistics point of view, that previously the company would have rejected. The group is well-placed for both organic growth and growth by acquisition, and Ward sees aggregates as continuing to be the main driver of that growth. “We’re in a great position from a cash perspective to continue on this path. It has made Breedon very successful,” Ward told Proactive Investors.
Breedon in a great position to continue on successful path
Thu, 21st Jul 2016
As optimisation plans go, doubling the capacity at its La Parilla tungsten mine in Spain must count as a great result for W Resources (LON:WRES). Executive chairman Michael Masterman tells Proactive Investors the numbers are “looking very good” and that the impressive increase in production rates look achievable without needing to increase the size of the plant too much. “We’re able to produce more with pretty much the same capacity,” Masterman said. Drilling is set to finish this month and production of tungsten and tin remains on schedule to start in the fourth quarter. Further ahead, looking at the financing side, Masterman said the company expects to be able to fund the current operations through off-take contracts with customers; meanwhile, the joint venture discussions are “well advanced” and should they be successfully completed, that should finance the 1.95mln tonnes per annum processing plant at the mine, though there is also the option of a debt facility. “We’ve got great customers; they like our product,” Masterman declared.
W Resources to double production target with “pretty much the same capacity”