A look back on some of the more interesting stories from the junior market this week.
While the collapse of 178-year old travel agent Thomas Cook has left thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad, its demise has been a boon for industry rivals such as Dart Group PLC (LON:DTG), the owner of the Jet2 brand.
The AIM 100 airline and package holiday operator has seen its shares rise 6% to 896p since Monday when Thomas Cook went bust after failing to secure a £1.1 billion rescue deal.
Dart was singled out by analysts at US investment bank Stifel as one of the biggest beneficiaries of Thomas Cook’s demise due to the “considerable customer overlap” between the two companies.
Other players in the sector expected to receive a boost are travel giant TUI AG (LON:TUI), budget airlines easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) and Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA), and package holiday seller On The Beach Group PLC (LON:OTB).
However, while competitors are primed to cash in on the vacuum left by Thomas Cook’s failure, expectations of higher prices for holidays and flights are unlikely to bring any sunshine for Britain’s tourists.
The AIM All-Share was on the descent during the week, falling 1.6% to 872.3, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.9% to 7,408.3.
The chocolatier said profits for its latest full year had been “slightly ahead of expectations”, and that it had opened 14 new stores in the UK as well as two in both the US and Japan, taking its total estate to 140.
Junior oiler Oilex Ltd (LON:OEX) saw its shares gush 53% to 0.3p as it ended arbitration proceedings with the Indian state-backed Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation after the two sides reached a settlement regarding the Cambay field joint venture, in which the company holds a 45% stake.
Investors in Tajikistan-focused miner China Nonferrous Gold Ltd (LON:CNG) decided to cash in after the firm turned a profit in its first half, sending the shares up 20% to 20p.
Fellow mining group Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) soared 71% to 0.2p as it took a significant step towards developing a diamond mine at its Heritage Concession in Zimbabwe after signing joint venture agreements with local community leaders and the national government.
There was also some sparkle from diamond miner BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD), which saw its shares bounce 37% to 144p as it recovered a 20.7 carat stone from its Kareevlei project in the diamond-rich Kimberley region of South Africa.
Plastic products maker Coral Products PLC (LON:CRU) was similarly punished after it reported sales and profits in the first four months of its current year had been below management expectations. The shares sank 18% to 6p in response.
Dahan’s exit also coincided with the marketing firm revealing its performance over July and August had been weaker than expected.
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