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SMALL CAP MOVERS: Game developer Frontier Developments

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Great success: Frontier Developments from Cambridge is a video game developer behind the Rollercoaster Tycoon, Planet Coaster and Jurassic World series

Among the small group of video game developers in the junior market, Frontier Developments plc has the distinction of being one of the oldest, founded in the early 1990s before being listed on AIM in 2013.

Wannabe theme park bosses may know Frontier as the former developer of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, although retail investors may know it better as a stock that rose more than 30 percent this week.

Frontier spiked to a year-to-date high after Shore Capital upgraded its stock recommendation from Hold to Buy.

Great success: Cambridge-based Frontier Developments is a video game developer behind the Rollercoaster Tycoon, Planet Coaster and Jurassic World series

Great success: Cambridge-based Frontier Developments is a video game developer behind the Rollercoaster Tycoon, Planet Coaster and Jurassic World series

This change in stance came on the back of promising developments within the company’s gaming portfolio, most notably the successful launch of the console edition of Planet Zoo and the sale of the publishing rights for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 to Atari.

The company netted $7m (£5.5m) from the sale, made up of a mix of prepaid and deferred cash, which should nicely boost Frontier’s earnings for the year.

The AIM All-Share Index had a less entertaining week, falling about half a percentage point in what was a turbulent five days for the stock market.

Despite a brief spike above 8,000 on Tuesday, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index also turned into the red on Friday, largely thanks to some hawkish comments from US policymakers.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned that interest rate cuts will only happen if the bank has “greater confidence that inflation will move down sustainably” to the 2 percent target.

Longer term fears seeped into London-listed shares, with some relating to BDO’s high street sales data (total like-for-like sales fell 2.2 per cent in the five weeks to March 31 compared with the same period). last year, which was the sixth consecutive month of negative performance), contributed to market caution.

Belluscura also had a tough trading week, with shares halving after a trading update on Tuesday.

The medical device developer admitted that sales and profits will be lower than expected this year due to the ‘premature delay’ in its takeover of blank check firm TMT Acquisition, which was expected to raise £4.7 million for Belluscura.

Belluscura has ‘reviewed its commercial activities’ to maintain a secure cash runway after the slowdown.

Robert Rauker said: ‘It is disappointing that the break-even cash flow has been postponed until the first quarter of 2025.

‘However, the steps we have taken to manufacture the vast majority of our products through InnoMax in China will result in significant savings in the cost of goods, resulting in a material improvement in gross profit.’

Zondrelthe microchip minnow previously rumored to be linked to Elon Musk’s Neuralink was also at the bottom of the small-cap mover pile with a 44 percent share price drop.

As a side note, it was a big week for large-cap chipmakers, with Samsung posting a tenfold quarterly profit and TSMC showing remarkable resilience in the face of Taiwan’s earthquake crisis.

There was no particular reason for Sondrel’s poor performance, barring a sustained correction following the February price doubling due to the Neuralink rumors.

Microcap cleaning supplies Byotrol shares have effectively flattened following the announcement of the proposed cancellation of its AIM listing.

Like many small caps in recent times, Byotrol plans to delist and re-register as a private limited company.

“A continued AIM tender has become unnecessarily expensive and regulatory burdensome to our current phase of development,” the group said in a statement.

Other factors cited for delisting were a lack of liquidity and “the impact of the regulatory regime on strategic flexibility.”

While AIM is unlikely to miss out on a group that only generates a few million in revenue per year, these comments perfectly illustrate the perfect storm sweeping through London’s small-cap market.

Back to the climbers, Tungsten West plc led the charge in the mining sector with a 122 percent share price increase. Late last week the group announced a £1.6 million funding round to restart production at the Hemerdon tungsten and tin mine.

Anglo-Australian battery innovator Gelion plc shares nearly doubled after publishing an update on its Next Generation Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery project.

A “high energy density milestone” was achieved, Gelion said, by manufacturing “a 395 Wh/kg lithium-sulfur 9.5 Ah pouch cell (commercial cell size).” Fortunately, investors understood the brief and pushed Gelion’s shares to their highest point of the year so far.

Finally, RUA Life Sciences emerged from a disappointing first half marred by operational issues and delayed product shipments, which saw huge sales in the second half of the financial year.

A strong cash position and scaling up of contract manufacturing operations boosted investors, driving shares 44 percent higher for the week.

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