LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP) looped up 11% to 140.12p before close after once again raising trading forecasts.

The virtual meeting specialist said the large-scale migration towards working from home associated with the COVID-19 outbreak was behind a material increase in business volumes.

The group was also confident it would beat prevailing market expectations in terms of revenue, EBITDA and cash generation for the 2020 financial year.

1.55pm: Allergy Therapeutics surges after profits top expectations

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) climbed 18% to 13.99p after revealing its 2020 net profit will be “significantly above market expectations”.

The allergy vaccines specialist said revenues for the 12 months ended June 30 would be at least 4% ahead of the comparable period last year on a constant currency basis.

The swing factors were operating cost efficiencies and the timing of the planned research and development expenditure.

11.40am: Tavistock Investments rises on strong update on protection portfolios

Tavistock Investments PLC (LON:TAVI) jumped 17% to 1.64p in late morning on the back of a strong performance from its protection portfolios for the first two months of its financial year.

The asset manager continued to trade profitably during the coronavirus lockdown, while its newest fund, the ACUMEN ESG Protection Portfolio, has seen its net asset value decline less than 1% since launch in early December.

The protection level is set at 90% of its NAV’s highest ever value, with the algorithm automatically moving out of investment assets into cash as volatility increases when markets fall, and back out of cash as volatility decreases when markets recover.

10.10am: Crest Nicholson drops after slumping to a loss

Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc (LON:CRST) dropped 11% to 223.87p in mid-morning after slumping to a half-year £51mln loss before tax from last year’s £64mln profit.

Revenue for the six months to April 30 halved to £240mln as the housebuilder was forced to postpone a substantial number of private completions planned for the end of April due to the lockdown.

The firm has resumed build activity and reopened its sales offices from May 18 and said full-year adjusted profit before tax to be between £35-45mln, against last year’s £121mln.

In the oil sector, Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) slipped 10% to 197.84p after warning revenues for the half-year to June 30 are expected to tank by 70% to US$1.6bn in its engineering and construction division.

The pandemic caused lump-sum projects in Iraq and India to be suspended, while other activity was materially slowed down and will be pushed back to next year.

Revenue for the engineering and production services division is expected to be US$450mln, in line with last year, as operations and maintenance activity continues in all regions.

8.45am: Escape Hunt leaps after launching remote escape room experiences 

Escape Hunt PLC (LON:ESC) topped the risers early on Wednesday with a 16% jump to 9.6p on the back of the launch of its remote escape room experiences.

The operator of escape rooms tapped into the ‘at home’ leisure market by allowing groups of up to six players to meet over videochat and solve puzzles.

The novelty of its pre-coronavirus experiences, such as Doctor Who: Worlds Collide and The Fourth Samurai, involved being trapped in a room with your mates and looking for ways out, something already experienced by many lockdown-weary Brits, though the company said initial trials of these online version has been “extremely successful”.

Elsewhere, United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) gushed 13%higher to 3.08p after revealing the Abu Sennan asset, in Egypt, yielded 13,900 barrels oil equivalent per day in the first half of June.

That gives 3,060 boepd net to United and marks a 69% improvement of 69% compared to April’s output.

It comes as the El Salmiya-5 contributed via test production, with the El Salmiya field output at around 4,000 boepd.

Proactive news headlines

Tavistock Investments PLC (LON:TAVI) reported a strong performance from its protection portfolios for the first two months of its financial year.

LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP), the virtual meeting specialist, says trading has continued to be strong and it now expects to beat the forecasts it raised in May.

Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO), the telecoms customer engagement software specialist, said one of its customers has expanded a business consultancy engagement to a full managed services contract.

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) said it expects its 2020 net profit to be “significantly above market expectations”.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) said it is seeing limited impact from the coronavirus lockdown and that regulatory submissions for its erectile dysfunction treatment remain on track.

Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) has published new research in a peer-reviewed journal highlighting the potential of its Modi-1 vaccine in hard-to-treat cancers.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) said it has expanded its cryptocurrency mining capacity with the purchase of 750 Bitmain Z11 mining units for US$474,000.

Itaconix PLC (LON:ITX) has closed what it said was an oversubscribed fundraising of at least £1.12mln in order to help fund the commercial development of its core products.

Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) said its portfolio company, Dynasty eSports, has signed a five-year exclusive partnership agreement with the Malaysia ESports Federation (MESF).

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL) said it is supporting a management buyout of énergie Fitness, a low-cost gym franchisor in the UK and Ireland, led by its founder Jan Spaticchia.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) and Red Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR) say an upsurge in interest in the Victoria Goldfields area has prompted their joint venture to speed up development plans in the region.

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has struck a deal to acquire an additional interests in the Biscathorpe project so that its stake increases to 30%.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) has confirmed production growth in the Abu Sennan asset in Egypt, which yielded 13,900 barrels oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the first half of June, marking a 69% improvement of 69% compared to April’s output.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) told investors that it has delayed the release of its 2019 financial results and its AGM as the coronavirus pandemic has constrained outsourced finance functions and auditors.

Amur Minerals Corporation PLC (LON:AMC) said it is on track to complete its Russian TEO feasibility study for the Kun-Manie project by the end of the year and has started planning a full bankable feasibility study (BFS).

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) said the only comments on the environmental assessment (EA) of its CS Perlite-Pozzolan Project in Nevada had been of a minor nature.

Amryt Pharma (LON:AMYT) publicly filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow trading in the US for American Depositary Shares on the Nasdaq exchange.