Lamprell PLC (LON:LAM) zoomed 55% to 18p on Wednesday afternoon on the back of a new contract award by Sharjah National Oil Corporation valued between US$6-50mln.

The oil services firm will undertake an engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning contract associated with the Mahani gas and condensate field in the UAE.

Scheduled for completion in early 2021, Lamprell’s scope of work is specific to the Mahani Extended Well Test project and includes hook-up and installation at the well, existing systems upgrade, associated tie-ins and a new 25 km export pipeline.

1.55pm: Velocys higher after receiving planning permission for waste-to-jet-fuel plant project

Velocys PLC (LON:VLS) climbed 35% to 4.6p on Wednesday afternoon after the North East Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee approved its waste-to-jet-fuel plant project.

The proposed Altalto Immingham plant, developed with British Airways and Shell, will convert hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year of non-recyclable everyday household and commercial waste, otherwise destined for landfill or incineration, into cleaner-burning sustainable aviation fuel.

The fuel, based on technology supplied by Velocys, offers net greenhouse gas savings of around 70% for each tonne of conventional jet fuel it displaces.

11.30am: Modern Water lifted by award to water contamination test kit

Modern Water Plc (LON:MWG) surged 16% to 2.23p before lunchtime after winning the “Scientific Instrument Excellent New Product” award by the Chinese first scientific instrument professional portal,

Microtox LX, used to test water, was originally shortlisted to 344 instruments in August 2019 by a panel of experts, from more than 9,000 new instruments out of nearly 1,500 companies.

“This award highlights the importance of water contamination, especially during the COVID-19 global health crisis,” said chief executive Simon Humphrey.

Elsewhere, Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) soared 41% to 0.81p after flagging that production and operations have continued uninterrupted amid the pandemic.

Net production is anticipated to average 2,250 barrels oil equivalent (boe) per day or 310,474 boe in aggregate.

The oiler is also assessing the extent of the positive impact for the Santa Cruz Sur assets after the Argentinian government announced a fixed price for local oil to protect the industry.

10.30am: Aeorema Communications slips after sacking 25% of staff

Aeorema Communications PLC (LON:AEO) shed 12% to 18.02p in mid-morning after announcing it has laid off 25% of its staff while others are on furlough.

The agency had to postpone “a number of its scheduled live events” in the wake of widespread lockdowns, however the loss before tax for the year to 30 June will be at the lower end of the £150,000-250,000 range previously guided.

The AIM-listed firm also announced the appointment of Hannah Luffman as strategy director, to reinforce its current offering during the pandemic, with events moving to purely virtual as well as hybrid into 2021.

In the FTSE 250 index, Vistry Group PLC (LON:VTY) lost 3% to 733p after revealing it has exchanged contracts on 310 homes and legally completed 257 private sales over the past eight weeks, for a sales rate of 0.26.

However, FTSE 100 rival Taylor Wimpey said last week that it had sold a net 408 homes during lockdown, averaging a net private sales rate of 0.30.

Analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown said social distancing measures are likely to prevent the group getting back to full operational capacity for some time.

9.30am: Moss Bros higher after Takeover Panel rules in its favour

Moss Bros Group PLC (LON:MOSB) jumped 14% higher to 19.31p on Wednesday morning after the UK Takeover Panel ruled that Brigadier Acquisition Company cannot scrap a £22.6mln dea to buy the high street suits hire and retail group.

Brigadier, controlled by rival Crew Clothing’s owner Michael Shina, agreed in mid-March to buy the high street tailor but tried to revoke the offer in April. The buyer now has some time to request a review of the ruling.

Meanwhile, Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) advanced 10% to 1.65p on the back of an agreement with Formula 1 motorsports Grand Prix group F1 to deliver the main elements of the F1 Esports Series in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The AIM-listed firm will deliver the Pro Draft Reveal show and the Pro series in 2020, the Challenger Series qualifying events, Pro Draft live show and Pro Series in 2021 and qualifying events in 2022.

The esports business will also use its arena in London as the main venue for live broadcasts.

Proactive news headlines:

Mosman Oil And Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN) has announced a deal to sell its stake in the Welch oil field in Texas, for US$300,000. It has received a US$30,000 deposit and the balance will be paid within 30 days. It said proceeds raised through the sale will facilitate investment in its Stanley project and provide working capital, supporting the company whilst oil prices remain low. Welch is producing and has development potential but Mosman noted that a prior ranking exercise determined that the Stanley and Greater Stanley projects offer “better growth”. The field generated a gross profit of A$264,619 in the six months ended December 31, 2019.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) announced that it has signed an agreement with Formula 1 motorsports Grand Prix group F1 to deliver the main elements of the F1 Esports Series in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The AIM-listed firm said it will deliver the Pro Draft Reveal show and the Pro series in 2020, the Challenger Series qualifying events, Pro Draft live show and Pro Series in 2021 and qualifying events in 2022. Under the terms of the contract, Gfinity will deliver a dedicated account management team to deliver all elements of the programme, provide a full league operations team to write all rules and govern drivers participating in the tournament and provide the use of its proprietary ‘Race Control’ in-race adjudication system. The company will also use its arena in London as the main venue for live broadcasts.

Jersey Oil & Gas PLC (LON:JOG) said it has now completed the process to re-acquire Equinor’s stake in Licence P2170, in the North Sea, which is host the Verbier discovery. In return, Equinor receives two milestone payments and a royalty based on volumes produced from the Verbier Upper Jurassic (J62-J64) reservoir. It is one step in the consolidation of multiple valuable but modest discoveries into a hub development project, to be known as the Greater Buchan Area (GBA) project.

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN), the sustainable biopesticides specialist, has reported further approvals for its Cedroz bionematicide distributed by partner Eastman Chemicals. Italy has granted Cedroz a second 120-day emergency-use authorisation period ahead of its growing season, while full approval has been granted in the Netherlands. Cedroz tackles root-knot nematodes, a pest that causes severe damage to crops globally, both in an open field and greenhouse situations. Separately, Eden said it has been notified the use of another if its products Mevalone has had approval in Greece expanded to include several minor diseases on olives and tomatoes.

Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) has told investors that its production and operations have continued uninterrupted amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and remains in-line with expectations. In a statement on its operations in Argentina, Echo said that net production is anticipated to average 2,250 barrels oil equivalent (boe) per day or 310,474 boe in aggregate. “Having moved quickly to implement measures to protect our staff, contractors and operations from the impact of COVID-19, I am pleased to report that production at Santa Cruz Sur has continued without interruption and is in-line with company expectations,” Martin Hull, Echo’s chief executive added.

Bango PLC (LON:BGO) said it has successfully launched carrier billing routes in the Google Play store for new operators in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The mobile commerce group said customers in Peru, Hong Kong and South Africa will now be able to pay for content and services in Google Play by using the Bango Platform to charge the cost to their phone bill.

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) said it has strengthened its leadership ahead of a listing on the American growth market, Nasdaq. It also confirmed it is in discussions with other potential commercial partners after inking a major deal with AstraZeneca earlier this year. And it laid out the timeline for progressing its two key drug candidates. As part of a comprehensive shake-up the firm, which specialises in gene silencing, has also brought on board Investec as its broker and nominated advisor.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) has said it is basing its outlook on a gradual recovery in book sales to begin in July amid the coronavirus pandemic, the firm revealed alongside its latest annual results on Wednesday. That would be a severe downside scenario, it added, but on this basis it has sufficient financial headroom to cope. Costs have been cut across the business, said chief executive Nigel Newton and the company has assumed print revenues decline by 65% over the period to July before starting to pick up again through to March 2021. Print book orders accounted for almost four-fifths of Bloomsbury’s revenues in the year to February and these have been severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, he said, even though demand has increased for digital, audio and e-books.

Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) shares rose on Wednesday as the healthcare advisory firm said it was “confident about performance” for its first half despite disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement to be delivered at its annual general meeting later today, AIM-listed Cello said it had a “good first quarter, with solid overall growth in net revenue”, adding that it Cello Health division has delivered overall net revenue and profit growth in the period alongside “good like-for-like growth”. The company also said overall bookings visibility and its new project win rate has been maintained, with the performance of the US arm of the business “particularly robust”.

SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) has described the first quarter of 2020 as a positive period despite a challenging backdrop amid low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. In an update, SDX said its entitlement production for the first quarter amounted to 8,061 barrels oil equivalent (boe), up 117% compared to the comparative period in 2019, while gross production equated to 4,994 boe per day. The strong year-on-year production growth was driven by the South Disouq in Egypt which performed ahead of expectations, it added.

VR Education (LON:VRE) revealed it has received a €3mln investment from HTC Corporation as part of a formal strategic partnership to distribute and license its ENGAGE virtual reality platform globally. Taiwan-listed HTC’s investment follows the success of the 2020 HTC VIVE Ecosystem Conference, which was hosted on the ENGAGE platform in March 2020, the company said. The subscription price is 5.47p, which was the price when discussions started on March 12, added VR Education, and will give HTC an approximate 20% stake in the AIM-listed company. VR Education said the subscription will enable it to build ENGAGE’s sales and marketing capability as well as the production of additional showcase experiences for the platform.

Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN) (NAASDAQFIRSTNORTH:FARON) has shared the peer-reviewed analysis of the effects of a drug given to severely ill patients that help explain the unexpected read-out from the company’s 2018 phase III clinical trial of its then lead drug, Traumakine. The article in ‘Intensive Care Medicine’ looks at the role played by glucocorticoids when used in harness with intravenous interferon beta-1a such of the type developed by Faron. It found the mechanism of action interferon beta-1a was blocked by glucocorticoids. Faron chief executive, Dr Markku Jalkanen, hailed the Intensive Care Medicine article as a “crucial publication”.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement for its SlimBiome trademark with Evolution_18 and the related launch of fibre gummies containing OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome proprietary weight management technology. The life sciences business, which is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincare noted that Evolution_18 is a US-based company founded by Bobbi Brown who is known for turning a simple makeup line, Bobbi Brown Essentials, into a billion-dollar global brand with Estée Lauder Companies.

Collagen Solutions PLC (LON:COS) has announced that Collagen Solutions (US) Inc. and Collagen Solutions (NZ) Limited, its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries in the USA and New Zealand, respectively, have received a mix of loan and grant funding based on those governments’ coronavirus (COVID-19) economic support programmes. The AIM-listed developer and manufacturer of biomaterials and regenerative medicines for the enhancement and extension of human life noted that Collagen Solutions USA received US$240,000 in US government-backed loan funding. It added that Collagen Solutions NZ also received NZ$35,000 from the New Zealand Ministry for Social Development’s Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) said it has completed a further equity derivative collar financing arrangement with its lender secured over 328,798 shares held by the company in Australian explorer Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR). Under the terms of the agreement, AIM-listed Metal Tiger has entered into a stock lending arrangement allowing the lender to borrow the Sandfire shares. As a result, the company has borrowed around A$1mln from the lender secured on the above terms with a maturity date of May 18, 2023. Metal Tiger said the proceeds of the financing will be used to fund “a near term substantial investment opportunity” as well as other potential investments.

Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX) said its portfolio company, Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, has closed a US$53mln Series C ‘extension’ fundraising round, taking the total to US$90mln New investors included Pfizer and Adage Capital. UK-listed venture capital company Arix has a 3% stake worth US$6.4mln. Amplyx will use the cash injection to develop fosmanogepix (APX001) and MAU868 for the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections and BK Virus.

IXICO PLC (LON:IXI) has reported higher earnings for the first half of its current financial year, while also highlighting that its order book has “strengthened further” since the period-end. For the six months ended March 31, 2020, the brain imaging and neuroscience data specialist reported underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £700,000, up from £100,000 a year ago, while revenues jumped by 33% to £4.6mln. EBTIDA margins also rose in the period to 14.8% from 4%, while profit per share increased to 1.01p from 0.46p. Looking ahead, IXICO said it ended the period with an order book of £15.3mln, however, this has risen to over £22mln in April following the signing of more contracts.

Newmark Security PLC (LON:NWT) has said demand for hygiene screens and night pay hatches has risen due to the coronavirus outbreak, but noted that the overall impact of the pandemic remains uncertain. In a trading update for the year to April 30, 2020, the AIM-listed group said activity in the second half of the year was broadly in line with management’s expectations, though had started to slow from April onwards. As a result, revenues for the year will be slightly below the previous twelve months though the impact on group operating profit is not yet clear, the group added.

Sativa Group PLC (LON:SATI), the Aquis Exchange-quoted leading quoted CBD wellness and medicinal cannabis group, which announced on April 22 that it had entered into a letter of intent with StillCanna regarding a possible offer for the company has said the UK Takeovers & Mergers Panel has consented to an extension of the deadline, until 5.00pm on June 3, 2020, to enable the parties to complete the compilation of the necessary information and due diligence before the announcement of a firm intention to make an offer. By this time the offeror must either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Sativa or announce that it does not intend to make a bid. Henry Lees-Buckley, CEO of Sativa commented: “Our due diligence in respect of StillCanna is progressing well and our expectation is to complete this process in the coming days.”

Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMUR), the nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and resource development company focused on the far east of Russia, announces that Ljupco (Lou) Naumovski is stepping down as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect in order to concentrate on his other business interests but will continue to support the company as an advisor to the board. Robert Schafer, Amur’s non-executive chairman commented: “We thank Lou for the time, energy and input that he has provided to Amur.  His Russia-specific knowledge and experience is of great value to the Company and we look forward to continuing working with Lou in his capacity as an advisor to the Board.”

Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) has announced that SPARK Advisory Partners Limited has been appointed as the company’s nominated adviser with immediate effect.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON), a multi-divisional new media and technology business, announced that it has received a notice of exercise from European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund in respect of the exercise by the investor of its conversion rights under the bonds issued in respect of the first tranche drawn down under their financing and settlement agreement for the aggregate principal amount of £80,000 resulting in the issue to the Investor of 800,000,000 new Iconic Labs ordinary shares.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) has said it will be presenting at a webinar hosted by Amvest Capital, a New York City-based specialist investment manager and corporate finance firm focused solely on the natural resources sector on Thursday, May 23, 2020, at 11.00am US Eastern Time. It added that Mick Billing, the group’s chairman and CEO will be presenting the webinar. The company said subscribers to the company’s announcements will be provided with a link to the webinar and a copy of the presentation will be available on the Thor Mining website via the following link: