UK shares: here’s why these two stocks have made headlines today!

These UK shares have been updating investors in Tuesday’s session. Here’s what this current, and former, penny stock have been telling the market.

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Investor demand for Global Ports Holding (LSE: GPH) shares remains quite flat following the release of fresh financials. At 119p per share, the cruise port operator was last 0.9% higher in Tuesday trade, keeping the recent sideways trend going. The UK commercial transport share is still up 26% over the past 12 months, however.

Global Ports Holding said that revenues came in at $79.4m during the 15 months to March 2021. This compares with sales of $70.4m in the 12 months to December 2019. However, on an adjusted basis, turnover clattered to just $26.8m. This removes the impact of accounting issues that saw capital expenditure for the construction of the Nassau Cruise Port treated as operating expenses and revenues.

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Last year’s sales collapse caused pre-tax losses to balloon to $122.7m for the 15 months to March 2021. Global Ports Holding recorded a loss of $24.5m in 2019.

Calmer seas

It said that it was effectively forced to close its ports from the second quarter of last year when the Covid-19 crisis caused “unprecedented disruption to the global travel sector”. Consequently, just 1.3m passengers passed through its ports in the five quarters to last March. That compares with the 5.3m it welcomed during 2019.

Pleasingly though, the UK share said that it has witnessed “a significant increase” in cruise ship activity since the end of March. There are expected to be 190 ships on the high seas this month, up from 48 in May. What’s more, Global Ports Holding added that “we continue to see new reservations coming across most of our network and we are encouraged by the current cruise line reservation trends for 2022.”

On the rise

Benchmark Holdings (LSE: BMK) hasn’t moved the dial either after it released fresh trading details of its own. At 66p per share, this penny stock remains 55% more expensive that it was this time last year.

Benchmark provides three main services to the so-called aquaculture industry. The UK share provides medicines that allow intensively-bred fish stocks to remain healthy. It sells special feed to grow the creatures and keep them in good shape. And its genetics division produces fish eggs (particularly in the field of salmon).

Sales scale new heights

The company said that revenues jumped 17% in the three months to June 2021, to £28.3m, with growth particularly strong in Genetics, where turnover rose 21%. Advanced Nutrition and Health sales, meanwhile, increased 15% and 20% respectively year-on-year.

Benchmark’s soaring top line didn’t stop the business recording further pre-tax losses in the quarter. However, these narrowed to £5.9m from £23.2m a year earlier.

Chief executive Trond Williksen said: “Our three business areas performed strongly, and we achieved a major strategic milestone with the successful commercial launch of Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat.” The firm claims that Ectosan is the first sea lice treatment to be launched for more than 10 years.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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