Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) shot up 40% to 0.014p in the afternoon after signed a services contract with Greencastle Capital to manage the JOE media business, which has been bought out of administration following its collapse in May.

The media technology firm said under the terms of the deal it will immediately manage all operational and commercial aspects of the JOE media businesses in the UK and Ireland following regulatory clearance.

Iconic expects the contract to contribute “a significant amount of revenue” which will enable it to become “operationally profitable within three months”.

1.55pm: Distil climbs after bubbly half-year revenue forecast

Distil PLC (LON:DIS) climbed 13% to 1.24p in the afternoon after revealing revenue for the six months to September is expected to soar 75-85% on last year.

As a result, operating profit is expected to rocket to £50,000-70,000 from last year’s £1,000.

In the quarter to June, the owner of spirits brands saw revenues jumping 21% thanks to an increase in domestic retail sales both in store and on-line.

12noon: boohoo slips further on supply chain scandal

boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) fell 13% to 227.7p at midday after starting an independent investigation into its supply chain following the weekend allegations of low pay and poor conditions at a supplier’s factory in Leicester.

Weekend media reports alleged that a Leicester-based factory, Jaswal Fashions, was paying staff as little as £3.50 per hour and operating with poor hygiene even after the new outbreak of coronavirus in the city.

Last night, retail giants Next, Zalando and ASOS dropped the AIM-listed clothier from their roster of clothes stockists.

11.15am: Funding Circle higher after participating in coronavirus state support in UK, US

Funding Circle Holdings PLC (LON:FCH) added 10% to 77.3p after updating investors on its participation to UK and US loan schemes to help businesses hit by the crisis.

The loans platform £460mln of applications through the UK programme and originated £300mln as at June 30, with last month being a record month for originations, up a 30% on 2019.

In the US it approved US$800mln and originated US$300mln of loans under the paycheck protection programme (PPP).

9.55am: SQN Asset Finance Income Fund tanks over outlook volatility, no dividend in sight

SQN Asset Finance Income Fund Ltd (LON:SQN) tanked 20% to 25.75p after admitting it is unlikely that a sustainable dividend can be re-established in the near future.

The finance company, which has been managed by KKV Investment Management since last month, said several of its investees were hit by the pandemic and the outlook for the next financial year remains volatile.

KKV is proposing impairments where the security or business outlook has been materially damaged and that damage is not likely to be transitory.

In the FTSE 250, FirstGroup PLC (LON:FGP) tumbled 18% to 40.52p after also announcing it is not clear when trading will pick up.

The buses and trains operator said social distancing measures are expected to significantly hit its service capacity and financial performance while they are in place.

However, if the UK and North America enforce restrictions for the rest of the current financial year but continue to provide fiscal support, the second half would see a gradual return to pre-crisis level.

8.45am: MelodyVR rises on Live Nation partnership for virtual reality gigs

MelodyVR Group PLC (LON:MVR) was an early riser on Wednesday, advancing 14% to 5.12p, on the back of an exclusive partnership with Live Nation UK.

The two firms will organise a series of new live concerts connecting artists and fans in virtual reality, using the AIM-listed firm’s technology.

Fans will have the choice of watching performances set in London’s O2 Academy Brixton from multiple points, including on stage with the artists themselves.

Talking about partnerships, Wincanton Plc (LON:WIN) rose 5% to 181.5p after extending its contract with grocery giant Asda by two years.

The partnership includes the management of warehousing and national transport operations across four sites in Doncaster, Larne, Rochdale and Wigan, covering frozen, chilled and ambient grocery as well as general merchandise.

The logistics firm has been working with Asda since 2005.

Proactive news headlines:

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) said it has signed a services contract with Greencastle Capital to manage the JOE media business, which has been bought out of administration following its collapse in May. The media technology firm said under the terms of the deal it will immediately manage all operational and commercial aspects of the JOE media businesses in the UK and Ireland following regulatory clearance. In return, the company will be paid a monthly fee of £50,000 as well as 25% of all profits if certain targets are met. JOE media is the largest independent digital media company in the Republic of Ireland and has been one of the fastest growing media companies in the UK since it launched in 2015. The brand is well known for its ‘House of Rugby’ series, the most-watched rugby show in the world, and generated over £10mln in revenue in 2019.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) has told investors that its desktop review of the wholly-owned Annaburroo gold project in Australia’s Northern Territory has identified potential for further delineation of gold mineralisation. It noted that the project remains underexplored with more than 95% of the area remaining unsampled and untested. The central and western portions of the licence are completely untested, the company added, and moreover its review concluded that prior exploration in certain areas are not considered effective due to thick transported soil cover which has potentially masked mineralisation.

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) has signed a clinical and commercial licensing deal with a company developing a gene silencing drug for solid tumours. Under the agreement, APEIRON Biologics will be allowed to use the AIM-listed group’s Flow Electroporation technology and ExPERT platform to advance APN401, a siRNA-based cell therapy. In return, MaxCyte will receive “undisclosed development and approval milestones and sales-based payments in addition to other licensing fees”.

Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) has told investors its full underground development team is now back at work and blasting operations have resumed at the Cononish gold and silver mine in Scotland. The return to full operation was in line with the group’s schedule announced in June, and operations are in full compliance with the coronavirus (COVID-19) safe operating procedures, the company added. At the same time, Scotgold is ramping up drilling capacity at the mine project with the addition of extra rigs, via a new agreement with Epiroc UK & Ireland Ltd.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) has noted that researchers driving innovation at the cancer diagnostic group have contributed “world-class science” to the field of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and it’s early detection. That’s the opinion of Oncimmune’s chief executive, Dr Adam Hill, whose ImmunoINSIGHTS team was integral to a paper published in the journal ‘Arthritis Research & Therapy’. Led by Oncimmune‘s Dr Petra Buddle and Dr Hans-Dieter Zucht, a study was set up to assess the diagnostic potential of IgG antibodies in early RA. It did so by assessing 411 patients enrolled in Germany. The scientists concluded that the autoantibody, cTRA2B-IgG, had the potential to improve diagnosis of early-stage rheumatoid arthritis.

Coinsilium Group Limited (LON:COIN) said it has executed an agreement with IOV Labs Limited to establish a joint venture (JV) in Singapore. The blockchain investment and advisory firm said the JV will promote and commercialise IOV’s services and technologies, principally in the Asian markets, and be financed by IOV through a loan which is to be repaid from future revenues. IOV is the parent of RSK, the developers of the first smart contract platform secured by the Bitcoin network in which Coinsilium holds an interest of around 1.9mln RIF tokens. It also owns Taringa!, one of the largest Spanish language social media apps with around 30mln members.

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) has said it is expecting the completion of the divestment of the company’s legacy oil and gas interest, DT Ultravert, during the next week. The CBD-focused firm also noted a change in deal terms which both advances the transaction to completion and in the longer-term offers improved value to Zoetic. It has agreed with the acquirer, Path Investments, that Zoetic will receive a higher royalty over future production – increased to 6% from 5% – and it will accept a higher allocation of share warrants, to a total of 30mln. Meanwhile, Path will cover Zoetic’s professional and technical costs with cash.

e-Therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) has unveiled plans to raise up to £12.4mln to fund its “next stage of growth and value creation” by expanding its drug discovery platform and asset pipeline. In an announcement after the close on Tuesday, the biopharmaceutical firm said it will raise £6.3mln of the total in a placing through the issue of around 52.8mln new shares at 12p each, a 30% discount to its Tuesday closing price. Meanwhile, the company also announced a subscription to raise around £2.8mln through the issue of 23.3mln new shares at the same price and a broker option to raise another £2.5mln. The group also made a retail offer at the 12p price on the PrimaryBid platform to provide certain existing retail shareholders and other retail investors with an opportunity to participate in the fundraise. In an announcement on Wednesday morning, e-Therapeutics said the retail offer had raised £750,000 through the issue of 6.25mln shares.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON SUPR), the real estate investment trust providing secure, inflation-protected, long income from grocery property in the UK, said it board has today declared an interim dividend in respect of the period from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, of 1.460p per ordinary share, payable on or around August 7, 2020. The ex-dividend date will be July 16, 2020, with a record date of July 17, 2020. The dividend will be paid 0.818p as a Property Income Distribution in respect of the Company’s tax-exempt property rental business and 0.642p as an ordinary UK dividend. The company has now declared four quarterly dividends totalling 5.8p per ordinary share for the financial year ended June 30, 2020, achieving its full-year dividend target. 

Symphony Environmental Technologies PLC (LON:SYM) has announced the appointment of Zeus Capital Limited as its Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker with immediate effect.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models has said it will be attending and presenting at a series of investor events from July 9 to 1, 2020. Cathal Friel, Open Orphan’s chief executive officer, will be in attendance for all of the events and will be presenting to update existing and potential investors on the company’s business plans for 2020-2021. No new material information will be disclosed at any of the events, which are: Hardman & Co. Investor Forum Webinar, July 9, 2020, 3.00pm-4.30pm; Proactive Investors One2One Investor Forum, July 9, 2020, 6.00pm-8pm; and Mello Virtual – Investing in the New World, July 11, 2020, 9.00am-5.00pm.

IXICO LON:IXI), the data analytics company delivering insights in neuroscience, has announced the company’s digital attendance at the On Helix Digital conference, being held on July 13-14, 2020. IXICO will share a pre-recorded presentation by Robin Wolz, the group’s SVP Science & Innovation, entitled ‘Biomarkers for CNS clinical trials from imaging and actigraphy.’ Two AI approaches to measure biomarkers in CNS disorders will be presented; the first approach is a method based on deep learning to segment brain volume in Huntington’s disease and the second novel approach is the sleep assessment in Parkinson’s disease from wrist-worn actigraphy. There will be an opportunity to set up one-to-one tele-meetings with potential customers and investors.

Instem PLC (LON:INS), a leading provider of IT solutions to the global life sciences market, has said it intends to host a live presentation via the Investor Meet Company platform in the coming weeks. A date and time will be announced in due course. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free via https://investormeetcompany.com/instem-plc/register-investor.