Oxus Gold, a company invested in the Amantaytau Goldfields (AGF) in Uzbekistan, reported a reduced annual loss, but told investors its main activities remained 'materially uncertain' and were dependent on the outcome of its dispute with the Uzbek government.
For the 12 months ended December 31st, the group, which is currently not undertaking any operational activities, reported a loss of $4.58m, compared to $6.84m in 2012. The loss is after deducting arbitration expenses of $2.14m (2012: $3.11m) and financial expenses of $1.30m (2012: $1.75m).
There was a decrease in total group assets $75.46m (2012: $75.82m), including cash and cash equivalents of $0.82m (2012: $1.04m).
The firm confirmed that the arbitration process relating to its Khandiza and Amantaytau Goldfields mining/exploration assets was progressing, but said it had made no progress in ending the inprisonment of Said Ashurov, who was jailed in 2011 for spying.
The group has pursued arbitration against the Uzbekistan government seeking compensation for the loss of its investment in AGF and for the loss of the Khandiza base metals project in 2006.
It said its ability to continue with the arbitration process has been significantly strengthened through financial support being provided by a litigation funding agreement and equity financing agreement.
The group declared force majeure in March 2011 in relation to AGF and is seeking "appropriate compensation" through international arbitration. It lost the Khandiza base metals project in 2006 within the proceedings.
"Compensation sought from the proceedings exceeds the book value of the AGF and Khandiza assets," Oxus said. "However, the recoverability of the carrying value of the assets remains dependent on the outcome of the proceedings, which is uncertain."
Although the group is still a going concern, it told investors a "material uncertainty exists which may cast significant doubt on the company and the group's ability to continue as a going concern and, therefore, to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of the business".
It further explained that once the outcome is known, it plans to consult shareholders on the future direction of the group's activities.
North Midland Construction (NMC) said a recovery in the building industry helped it to move back into the black despite a lacklustre start to the first quarter.
NMC said first quarter pre-tax profit was £234,000 against a loss of £105,000 a year earlier as prospects for the construction industry in general started to improve.
The first quarter started slowly, particularly in the company's highways & utilities division, and overall group revenue for the period declined 1.5% to £44.5m against a year ago.
Secured workload expected to be completed this year is about £160m against £140m last time, based on firm orders placed under framework contracts, but those orders are set to rise.
The group's water business traded strongly and its restructured building and civil engineering division did much better on lower volumes, although resolution of two problematic contracts that caused a loss last year remain outstanding.
"The board is cautiously optimistic that the improved performance can be maintained," NMC said in a trading update.