Weir Group PLC shares fell after the engineer said third-quarter profits were hit by a “sophisticated” ransomware attack.
Boss Jon Stanton said the mining equipment company responded “quickly and comprehensively to what was a sophisticated external attack” but the actions to protect infrastructure and data “led to significant temporary disruption”.
The FTSE 250 group said attack happened towards the end of the third quarter but there was no impact on orders during the quarter, with its facilities all operational, but profitability was impacted because revenues will be deferred on shipment delays and ‘under-recoveries’, which normally result from selling at below cost price.
Weir said it now expects a full-year profit before tax of £230-245m because of the attempted hack.
The shares dropped 6% in early trading before recovering to a loss of around 3% at 1,598p.
9.26am: Brighton Pier makes a splash
() made a big splash in early dealings on Friday, with its shares flying 18% higher to 63p after announcing that trading had been “very strong” across all four divisions in the first quarter of its financial year and that business interruption insurance had successfully been claimed for the past year.
As well as Brighton Palace Pier, the group owns and operates eight bars under the Lola Lo, Embargo Republica, Lowlander, Coalition and Le Fez brands, eight mini-golf sites and the newly acquired Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire.
For the previous, pandemic-hit financial year to 27 June 2021, £5mln of business interruption insurance claims have been settled with insurers, meaning that earnings are expected to be £2mln higher than market expectations.
And for the first 13 weeks of the new year, in which all four divisions were open for most of the period, net sales reached £15.9mln, which is 145% over the same period in 2020 and 30% ahead of the pre-Covid period in 2019, helped by the first time Brighton Pier has achieved gross sales above £1mln in a single week.
Chief executive Anne Ackord now expects revenue and earnings for the 52 weeks to 26 June 2022 to be “significantly ahead of market expectations”, which investors will be able to toast with her at December’s annual shareholder meeting, which takes place on Brighton Palace Pier for the first time.
Elsewhere, () shares were up 7% to 0.48p after it pencilled-in a start date of early 2022 for its Leigh Creek copper project.
After discussions with the mines department of South Australia (DEM), conditional approval has been given, pending additional information about the intended management of potentially acid-forming material, the cover design and visual amenity associated with the Paltridge North waste rock dumps and heap leach pads.
Discussions are also underway over a US$10mln loan facility with a global bank, which is undertaking due diligence currently.
John Peters, SML’s managing director, said: “The company is encouraged by the support shown by the Department of Energy and Mines for mining and processing the Paltridge North deposit.”