Francesca Morgan
Market Report
16:30, 13th January 2021

Liontrust Asset Management (LIO FOLLOW) shares ticked up 7.11% to 1,340p as it highlights strong operational progress 

In a trading update, the specialist independent fund management group highlighted its operational success after achieving its strategic objectives through the global pandemic. 

Assets under management and advice ("AuMA") were £29.4bn as at close of business on 31 December 2020, up 43% over the quarter and 83% since the start of this financial year. 

The company’s acquisition of Architas Multi-Manager Limited and Architas Advisory Services Limited (together "Architas UK Investment Business"), which was announced back on 1 July 2020 and subsequently completed on 30 October 2020, added an overall £5.6bn to AuMA. 

Commenting on the operational progress, John Ions, Chief Executive of LIO, stated that: 

“The strength of Liontrust's investment teams, brand and distribution is shown by the fact we generated net inflows of £792 million over the last three months of 2020 and £2.5 billion since 1 April. Our AuMA has increased to £30.1 billion from £16.1 billion on 1 April 2020.” 

 “Following its acquisition at the end October 2020, the Architas UK Investment Business is now fully rebranded and integrated. The speed and efficiency of this could not have been achieved without clear vision and strong operational processes across the Company.” 

LIO price chart

Mineral & Financial Investments (MAFL FOLLOW) shares soar 43.28% to 12p with ‘encouraging’ drilling results 

The natural resources-focused investment firm reported ‘highly encouraging’ results from the first three holes of a seven hole drill program in the South Zone at its Lagoa Salgada Project. 

The drill program aimed at intersecting copper-rich mineralisation in the Lagoa Salgada South Zones in the three holes of the first phase of exploration in 2021 at the Lagoa Salgada VMS project ("Lagoa Salgada") which is located on the Iberian Pyrite Belt ("IPB") in Portugal.

The results confirmed the thesis that the area is copper rich, with grade intensity improving as the company moves south and east. MAFL said it is excited to see exploration activities continue across the zone where results ‘continue to expand the extent of the mineralisation.’ 

Follow-up drilling is planned for Q1-2021 to better define this High-Grade Copper zonation on the Lagoa Salgada South Zone Resource. Jacques Vaillancourt, Executive Chairman, said, “We hope future rounds of drilling will grow the resource to match/exceed our expectation."  

MAFL price chart

Falanx Group (FLX FOLLOW) shares rose 34.21% to 1.275p as it expands cybersecurity service 

Shares in the AIM-listed provider of cyber security and strategic intelligence services jumped today after the firm announced ‘a significant expansion’ of its cyber security service offerings. 

The group said it will expand its offering with the launch of Triarii, a managed detection and response (MDR) service which Falanx said has been “well received” following its launch back in August 2020. It noted that its holds a strong ‘sales pipeline of opportunities’ as a result. 

It said its Triarii service has been successfully piloted on Microsoft's Azure Sentinel platform which it said will allow it to target “a major global market segment” in the form of managed service providers and their customers that are heavily invested in the Azure platform. 

Mike Read, the group’s Chief Executive, commented "The addition of Triarii for Sentinel opens up further opportunity for our Cyber division to service the needs of our customers and partners, and works in conjunction with our current services that include our existing Triarii service,which is already being deployed for the benefit of our SolarWinds customers." 

FLX price chart

Touchstar (TST FOLLOW) shares jump 30.00% to 65p as it hails a ‘profitable year’ 

Touchstar said in a trading update that it has traded profitably for the year ended 31st December 2020 following a ‘cautious’ approach in response to COVID-19 pandemic.  

The mobile data computing solutions supplier said it had traded profitably and was strongly cash generative during the period, supporting customers and looking after its staff following ‘a period of a global pandemic and the largest economic contraction in a generation.’  

Cash generation remained strong and Touchstar ended 2020 with a net cash position of £1.6m with £1.9m of cash in the bank at the year-end (31 December 2019: £850,000).  

Chairman, Ian Martin, said “enormous credit should go to the management team for having the foresight to realise early on the implications of COVID 19 on society and the economy.”  

The company anticipates reporting its preliminary results for 2020 in late April 202. It said it expects these results to show ‘a profitable outcome on both a pre-tax and after- tax basis.’  

TST price chart

C&C Group (CCR FOLLOW) shares fell 5.37% to 236.25p despite stock gaining steady value 

Despite shares in the premium beverage company remaining well below their pre-pandemic worth, C&C stock has more than doubled to 249p since the beginning of November 2020. 

Last week, the group invested in UK craft beer business, Innis & Gunn, taking an 8% equity stake to sell and distribute its range of beers in the on-trade sector in Ireland and the UK. 

C&C Group said it will use its platform to increase Innis & Gunn’s brand presence and investment in England, as well as seek to collaborate in new international markets. 

Dougal Gunn Sharp, Innis & Gunn’s Founder said, “C&C’s strength in the on-trade across the whole of the UK and Ireland, and our long-term relationship, means we have solid foundations from which to build. C&C is the right partner with the right platform to help us accelerate our growth into these channels and seek to replicate the success the brand has enjoyed in Scotland.” 

CCR price chart

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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