Oilex Ltd (LON:OEX) has seen its shares rise after it moved a step closer to finalising a key Indian deal.

The company has been trying to take full control of the Cambey gas field for more than four years. But this has been delayed by a spat with its partner – the state backed Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC) – over expense payments which at one point went to an Indian court.

Both sides settled matters in April, and now Oilex has said a binding agreement to buy the 55% of the field owned by GSPC has now been executed by both parties. 

The last hurdle is the ratification of the deal by the Indian government, which is expected in the coming months.

Oilex’s managing director Joe Salomon, said: “Finalisation of this transaction marks an important milestone in re-establishing access to high potential gas production at the Cambay gas field and positions Oilex, once more, as an active Indian energy company.

“Oilex remains one of the few international companies active in the sector in India where we see enormous potential both for gas projects as well as renewable energy and carbon abatement projects.

“During the next few months, we will determine the company’s optimal participation level in the project and re-commence operational activities.  Over the past few years, we have continued to review additional projects while also continuing to progress our UK assets.  As a result, from this stronger platform we see opportunities to build on Oilex’s current project inventory.”

Oilex has added 20.67% to 0.29p.

12.06pm: CAP-XX sees strong order book as demand for Internet of Things devices grows

It is a bold company that takes on Tesla and Elon Musk.

But in a positive trading update, CAP-XX Ltd (LON:CPX) also mentions it is continuing to pursue its litigation against Maxwell Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesla.

It adds: “[This] is progressing as per the Delaware Court schedule, whilst other licencing and patent infringement actions are also progressing, and a further update is anticipated during the second quarter of the coming financial year.”

Meanwhile the designer and manufacturer of supercapacitors and energy management systems, said full year revenues are expected to be around 15% higher than the previous year at between A$4.1mln and A$4.2mln.

It is expected to reduce its losses from A$4.2 mln to A$2.1mln-A$2.2mln.

These figures are in line with expectations and come after the cost of setting up its manufacturing facility at Seven Hills in New South Wales and increased spending on new product development and the protection of the company’s IP.

The order book continues to grow and is currently 127% higher than at the end of the 2020 financial year. It is seeing strong demand for Internet of Things devices, especially from the automotive, locking, portable terminal, smart meter, wearable and wireless sensor device segments.

CAP-XX has climbed 5.84% to 8.15p.

11.08am: Software group optimistic about growth including acquisitions

Sopheon PLC (LON:SPE) has delivered an optimistic update to its annual meeting and seen its shares respond appropriately.

The company told shareholders that so far this year it had closed 27 software transactions with just under half being software-as-a-service related.

It said these were mainly customer extension deals and smaller in size but it has some new and larger deals in the pipeline.

Customer retention has been strong; and coupled with new orders, annual recurringrevenuehas risen above US$19mln compared to US$18mln at the end of 2020.

It said: “We are undertaking a detailed review of our sales pipelines as companies work to find the new norm of conducting business post COVID-19. We are already seeing the benefits of alternative approaches and fresh ideas. Net cash at the end of May was US$23.3mln (2020: US$21.3mln), though a seasonal peak always occurs this time of year, it underlines our financial strength.

“These commercial and financial proof points give us the confidence to proceed with our strategy both in terms of operational expansion – we continue to hire and invest for growth – and with continuing our search of the right M&A candidates.”

Sopheon‘s shares are up 40p or 4.52% at 925p.

10.16am: Oil and gas group boosted by North Sea results

Serica Energy Plc (LON:SQZ) has seen its shares flare up after a positive update from its Rhum gas field in the North Sea.

The third well on the site has successfully produced a flow test with results at the upper end of expectations.

It said the flow rate was constrained by the surface well test equipment on board the WilPhoenix semi-submersible drilling rig, and it expected the well to produce at higher rates when in it came into production.

A diving support vessel has been contracted to install the subsea control equipment required so the well can start producing in the third quarter of 2021.

Chief executive Mitch Flegg said: “Operations on R3 have proved more challenging than expected but the skill and dedication of our operational team has enabled us to achieve this welcome result. The volumes flowed during the test are equivalent to over 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day which demonstrates the quality of the Rhum asset.

“It was always expected that the flow test results would be constrained by the surface test equipment, but initial analysis of the data recovered indicates that the flow potential of the well is at the upper end of our range of expectations.

“The third Rhum well will enable enhanced production rates from the field and will provide redundancy to support production from the other two Rhum wells.”

The news has lifted Serica shares 6.61% to 125p.

9.16am Furniture group comforted by strong showroom sales

People could not wait to get back into showrooms once lockdown ended and snap up sofas, according to DFS Furniture PLC (LON:DFS).

In a trading update the company said the ten weeks to the end of June – part of its fourth quarter – sales had jumped 92.1% compared to the same period in 2019 (back in the pre-COVID-19 days).

Its online business boomed during the shop closures, up 222% in the third quarter. But this also reflected its investment in online retail.

Chief executive Tim Stacey said: “Despite short-term supply chain challenges and a macro environment that’s hard to read, we believe the business is well set for growth, to be delivered in both a responsible and sustainable manner.  Given our overall financial position and outlook it is our intention to recommend a full year dividend of 7.5p in September.”

The news has lifted the company’s shares by 13.42% to 308.5p.

Elsewhere outsourcer Mitie Group PLC (LON:MTO) saw customers such as Rolls-Royce and Heathrow cut costs, pushing its full year operating profits down from £86.1mln to £63.4mln.

But the company, which specialises in cleaning, security and technical services, said the outlook for 2022 was materially better than its previous expectations.

The acquisition of Interserve was performing well, and it strengthened its balance sheet with a £190mln rights issue.

Chief executive Phil Bentley said: “”Although COVID has challenged us all, our business has been far more resilient than we originally expected, with revenue, excluding the contribution from Interserve, just 1.6% lower than the prior year.  The second half of the year was significantly better than the first half, with 6.5% year on year growth, as variable projects and discretionary spend works picked up and cleaning and security demand increased. 

“As businesses slowly start to reopen and our customers’ employees return to offices, we are starting to see some green shoots of recovery in the variable project and discretionary spend works and we anticipate this continuing as re-occupation plans solidify.  With some high-quality new contract wins, short-term support to the public sector and additional synergies from the integration of Interserve, we now anticipate 2022 will be materially ahead of our prior expectations.”

Mitie is 5.89% better at 75.92p.