IQE PLC (LON:IQE) shot up 37% to 27.4p as its trading is in line with expectations despite the pandemic, though it dropped guidance.

The semiconductors manufacturer said it is a “critical technology supplier” so it has fewer chances of stopping production during a lockdown.

The firm said it has access to “material” debt facilities in case the situation worsens, while it has a “long-standing and trusted” relationship with its bank, HSBC.

Elsewhere, 888 Holdings Public Limited Company (LON:888) leaped 29% to 107.39p as higher traffic in virtual casino and online poker products could partially compensate for the suspension of sporting events.

The online gambling firm still estimates a potential hit to earnings of “up to high single-digit millions of dollars” if the disruption of global sport continues until September.

Its sports vertical accounted for 16% of revenue in 2019.

2.45pm: Games Workshop slips over shop closures

Games Workshop Group PLC (LON:GAW) shed 8% to 3,920p on Tuesday afternoon as it announced the closure of operations in response to government measures to contain the pandemic.

All of its stores, headquarters, factory and warehouses in the UK and US will be shuttered with immediate effect, with staff working from home whenever possible.

The retailer said trading in the nine months to the end of February was in line with expectations, though it deteriorated in March as the virus spread.

Similarly, professional services firm RPS Group PLC (LON:RPS) tanked 20% to 38.22p as it canceled the dividend to save £5mln.

The company is also deferring all 2020 salary increases and 2019 senior leadership bonus payments.

As at 28 February, net debt was £109.7mln, while headroom in respect of committed bank facilities was £33mln.

1pm: McColl’s Retail seeing strong demand 

McColl’s Retail Group PLC (LON:MCLS) saw its shares rise 14% to 25p as it reminded investors its shops remain open.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK, the Group has responded proactively to current strong demand. We continue to work with our wholesale partners, whilst investigating complementary channels, to supply the essential products our customers need at this time,” the high street convenience stores operator said.

Notwithstanding the increased demand it is currently experiencing, the group is taking proactive actions to preserve cash, manage working capital, maximise liquidity, and phase capital expenditure appropriately.

11.00am: Pelatro relatively unaffected by travel restrictions

Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO) saw its shares rise 11% to 31p after it said its software products continue to be available without interruption.

As a software business, we can continue to function efficiently even if most of the employees are working from home, the marketing hub software specialist said, adding that the current coronavirus (COVID-19) related travel restrictions are having a relatively limited effect on its business.

Pelatro reiterated that results for 2019 would be in line with expectations.

9.30am: EKF Diagnostics lifted by coronavirus-related specimen collection tubes order

EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC (LON:EKF), up 32% at 26p, was one of the top risers on Tuesday morning after issuing a detailed trading review.

The AIM-listed company said it has a contract manufacturing opportunity with US company Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics, for specimen collection tubes for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Initial orders are worth around US$1mln and are expected to grow significantly.

Meanwhile, Aeorema Communications PLC (LON:AEO) jumped 11% to 15.5p after it unveiled an earnings enhancing acquisition.

The live events agency, which has seen its share price crumble from 38.5p over the last two months, is to buy Eventful Limited, a boutique events and incentive travel company, for a total consideration of up to £479,692 to be satisfied in cash and shares.

Aeorema said its decision to acquire Eventful was made in full confidence, despite the challenging global situation unfolding due to COVID-19.

“Eventful has a strong cash flow position with significant revenue already confirmed or under discussion, and necessary risk mitigation in place in terms of contract cancellation fees (up to 90% in some instances),” it revealed.

Proactive news headlines:

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has signed a licensing deal with a company developing the next wave of cancer immunotherapies. Allogene Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ALLO) will use MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation platform and ExPERT technology to “develop and advance” its allogeneic CAR T treatments. MaxCyte will receive “undisclosed development, approval and commercial milestones in addition to other licensing fees”.

Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) has reported profits for its 2019 financial year are “ahead of expectations” as recurring revenues surged thanks to its Software & Platforms business. In a trading update, the AIM-listed firm reported that for the year ended 31 December statutory pre-tax profit was £14.3mln, 316% ahead of the prior year, while revenues jumped 39% to £130.1mln.

Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX) said the momentum it experienced at the end of 2019 has continued into the first quarter of 2020, and, as a result, it plans to press ahead with its share buyback programme even during this current coronavirus crisis. The internet top-level domain provider said in late January that revenue for 2019 would be “significantly ahead” of 2018 and so it proved, with Tuesday’s full-year results statement revealing that revenue was up 25% to US$17.3mln from US$12.4mln in 2018.

Tekcapital PLC’s (LON:TEK) portfolio firm, Salarius, has received an order from its distribution partner to launch its SaltMe! Range of low-sodium snack products across 71 stores in May. The launch of the crisp range represented “an important milestone for SaltMe!”, the investment firm said on Tuesday, adding that “thousands of customers” will now be able to buy the new crisp range, which uses Salarius’ MicroSalt particles for flavouring.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) has extended its agreement with a distributor called Extensor Robert Buczek to a further 15 Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Originally the tie-up with Extensor for its GoFigure consumer weight management product and functional ingredient SlimBiome covered Poland only. The enhanced deal will see GoFigure taken to Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova and Russia.

Oriole Resources PLC pared its losses to £1.41mln for the year to 31 December 2019, significantly down on the £2.25mln loss it booked in 2018. The savings were won by an increased focus on costs. In response to the current global situation relating to COVID-19, and with Cameroon’s borders closed, Oriole said limited exploration work is expected in the next three months. Consequently, its directors and senior management have taken reduced salaries for this period, in order to preserve the company’s cash reserves in anticipation of the proposed drilling campaign later in the year.

Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG) has announced new terms for the divestment of its Congo assets to Zenith Energy Ltd (LON:ZEN). The top-line deal value reduces to £800,000 from £1mln, but, the consideration will now be paid entirely in cash, whereas the original deal saw AAOG received £500,000 cash and £500,000 of Zenith shares. The group said the cash will be paid to AAOG in ten equal instalments.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRK) said it will close its Kareevlei mine as a result of a nationwide order in South Africa to shut down the mining industry. BlueRock has also removed its stones from its March diamond tender, due to an absence of international bidders.

Tlou Energy Ltd (LON:TLOU) has decided to significantly reduce costs in response to the difficult prevailing market conditions, triggered by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and lower oil and gas prices. The aim, the company said in a statement, is to make current funds last longer so that more time is available to conclude ongoing commercial and project finance negotiations.

Angling Direct PLC (LON:ANG) has said its retail stores are closed until further notice but its online offering remains operational as the coronavirus pandemic shut-down takes effect. The largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK has shuttered its shops in compliance with the government’s overnight directive. It noted the measures of support that have been put in place by the government and expects to be a beneficiary of all that are applicable to the company.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) told investors that it has extended its asset retirement agreement with the state of Ohio. The original arrangement had a five-year term and it has extended the deal for another five years, setting a new expiry date of 31 December 2029. In a statement, the company noted that the terms remain substantially unchanged though commitments increase so that the company is now required to plug 20 wells per year – up from 18 wells per year – over the full duration of the agreement.

Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) is to put its mining operations on care and maintenance, following a country-wide order from the South African government for companies to shut down.  The national lockdown requires all non-essential businesses and activities to be suspended, with people confined to their homes. Pan African said it has immediately available facilities of U$20mln.

Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) announced that, on 23 March 2020, two directors and one of its senior management team purchased ordinary shares in the group. It said Shaun Chilton bought 10,000 shares, Nick Keher 6,200 shares and David Bryant 4,763 shares. Chilton, Clinigen’s group chief executive officer commented: “Our share purchases are a strong endorsement of our strategy and underlie our belief in the Company and its prospects. We are the world experts in providing access to medicines across borders and we are working hard to support Hospital Pharmacists and Physicians across the US, EU and AAA region to help their patients in the current Coronavirus situation. We are confident of the continuing demand for our Clinical and Unlicensed Medicines services, and for our portfolio of hospital oncology and anti-infective medicines.”

Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG), the East Africa-focused gold producer, developer and explorer, said that, further to its announcement made on 20 February 2020 regarding the posting of written resolutions to holders of the unsecured subordinated convertible loan notes due April 2020, the written resolutions have been duly passed as Extraordinary Resolutions on 23 March 2020 receiving over 75% of votes in favour.  The group added, following the passing of the written resolutions the maturity date of the loan notes has been extended to April 2021 and Shanta is permitted to redeem the loan notes earlier – in whole or in part – if it so chooses, by notice to the holders.