Warpaint London PLC (LON:W7L) shares scrubbed up well after the company’s released a trading update to coincide with its annual general meeting.

The shares rose 6.1% to 69.5p after the company revealed an improvement in margin, no erosion of cash and positive underlying earnings in the first half of 2020.

Sales in the first half of 2020 have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown but have been at a higher level than anticipated, albeit significantly below the first half of 2019.

2.40pm: A bit of financial engineering for Weir

Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR) shares firmed 6.5% to 1,100p after the engineering firm did a bit of financial engineering.

The FTSE 250 group has refinanced a US$950mln revolving credit facility and a £200mln term loan, extending their maturities to 2023 and 2022 respectively. The company added that it continued to be “highly cash generative”.

Meanwhile, Weir said its mining markets had held up during the second quarter of the year despite some disruptions to production levels in April and May, adding that this appeared to be easing through June.

1.45pm: Countrywide issues (relatively) upbeat AGM statement

Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) advanced 8.9% to 110p on the back of a trading statement released ahead of its annual general meeting.

The estate agent said it had delivered a resilient performance in the first five months of 2020, while since it reopened branches in England from May 18, it has seen “clear evidence of increased transactions in the market”.

Property sales are back to 71% of 2019 levels with the last week at 64% of the corresponding week of 2019. Demand for let properties is running at about 88% of 2019’s levels.

12.45pm: Corero rockets after being highlighted in US research report

Corero Network Security PLC’s (LON CNS) share price rocketed 54% to 8.25p as the group was highlighted in a cybersecurity report.

The report on the growth potential in cybersecurity by a US market research website focused on DDOS attack (distributed denial of service) protection and included Corero among a group of eleven companies profiled.

Earlier this month, Corero reported five new customer wins for its SmartWall DDoS protection products over the last two months with a total value of more than US$1.5mln.

11.50am: Aston Martin investors hit the ejector button

The insatiable appetite for cash of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC (LON:AML) had investors in the luxury car maker hitting the ejector button on Friday.

The company is to raise up to another £190mln to help tide it over the coronavirus crisis while its new DBX sports utility ramps up production.

The shares were down 17% at 51.75p – a far cry from the 1,900p the shares floated at in October 2018.

10.55am: Volga Gas rows higher after receiving bid approaches

Volga Gas PLC (LON:VGAS) rowed 16% higher to 26p after it updated on its formal sale process.

The company said it has received a number of non-binding proposals from companies interested in acquiring the company and it is now in negotiations with some of them.

The company is hoping to wrap up talks by the end of September.

10.00am: Lockdown a boon for 888

Investors who have taken a punt on 888 Holdings PLC (LON:888) were happy bunnies on Friday after the shares shot up 15% to 173.8p.

The online betting firm has seen sales jump 34% year-to-date reflecting customer acquisition during the second half of 2019 and the shift to online services seen during lockdowns.

The company added that adjusted underlying profits (EBITDA) for the current year are expected to be significantly ahead of expectations.

9.10am: Intu Properties halves in value

Intu Properties PLC (LON:INTU), the Trafford Centre and Metro Centre owner plunged 53% to 1.82p after it warned it is on the brink of administration.

Talks with lenders about a debt restructuring have made no progress and the shopping centres owner is now considering its position with a view to protecting the interests of its stakeholders.

This is likely to involve the appointment of administrators, it added.

The Windar Photonics PLC (LON:WPHO) share price, down 18% at 16p, ran into heavy weather after a trading update from the wind turbine technology company.

The underlying loss (LBITDA) in 2019 ballooned to €1.9mln from €04mnln the year before, while the company warned that customer payments of around €400,000 are now more than six months old and might have to be written off as bad debts.

Given the company’s concentration of contracts for projects in China and with Chinese clients generally, there has been a slowdown in delivery of wind sensor and other equipment compared with Windar’s internal budgets, principally due to the global slowdown resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Proactive news headlines

Supermarket Income REIT (LON:SUPR) confirmed it is in discussions to acquire a portfolio of assets via a sale and leaseback transaction with a major grocery operator. The trust earlier reported that it received 100% of rents due in the June 2020 quarter renewal.

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has acquired Coconut Lizard Limited, a company providing specialised video game development services, for up to £2mln.

Med-tech specialist Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) said it expects to see revenues “increase significantly” after a strong start to the year.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) told investors that it has completed the administrative formalities to set up its Bahamian mutual fund and is ready to start the drilling of the Perseverance #1 well between December and next February.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) said its IO#8 iodine extraction plant in the US is back on stream after the restart of supplies of source material brine, which comes from onshore oilfields.

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO), the immersive virtual reality (VR) out-of-home entertainment business, said it was close to hitting break-even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) said it has raised £400,000 in a share placing to help fund its planned build programme for 2020 and to “take advantage of post lockdown operating conditions”.

Zanaga Iron Ore Company Ltd (LON:ZIOC) told investors it has entered a subscription agreement with Shard Merchant Capital, under which some 21mln shares will be issued in up to three tranches.

Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC) said it is expecting “some high-value outputs” in 2020 after the mineral explorer reported narrowed losses in its 2019 financial year.

Sativa Group PLC (LON:SATI), the medicinal cannabis group, has welcomed the clarity of the regulatory framework concerning the use of cannabidiol (CBD) products in food.

PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) said a shareholder proxy vote will take place July 14 to decide whether to allow the company to issue the 1,437,440,277 shares to acquire Waste2Tricity Limited, a specialist solutions provider to the energy-from-waste sector. Chairman William Davies has sent a letter to shareholders that includes the background to and reasons for the acquisition, a copy of which will be available on the company’s website, www.powerhouseenergy.net.

Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX) has brought co-founder Dr Christian Schweiger back onto the board as a non-executive director, with immediate effect. 

SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) has appointed Cenkos Securities as its Nominated Adviser and sole broker.