Daily Business Live
Springfield upbeat; Omega report boost; Scotgold; Deep Matter
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5pm: Commodities drive market higher
The FTSE 100 index closed up 57.85 points, or 0.8%, at 7,080.46, driven by higher commodity prices, thanks to the strong showing in the US and Chinese manufacturing PMIs.
2.30pm: Lockdown latest
Nicola Sturgeon eased the lockdown pressures on businesses today but erred on the side of caution by keeping some parts of Scotland under tight restrictions.
Half of local authority areas will move to Level 1 – effectively near-normal – on Saturday which is earlier than planned. Glasgow will join 13 others that remain in Level 2.
8.30am: Strong open for London market
The FTSE 100 made a strong start following yesterday’s OECD forecast for UK growth. The blue chip index was trading 53 points higher at 7,075.27.
7am: Longboat acquires E&P programme
Longboat Energy, established by the former management team of Faroe Petroleum to build a North Sea-focused E&P business, is acquiring a significant exploration drilling programme on the Norwegian Continental Shelf structured as three farm-in transactions.
7am: Omega welcomes test report
Omega, the medical diagnostics company, has welcomed a new report backing the accuracy of the Mologic lateral flow antigen test for COVID-19 which has been commercialised by the Scottish company as the Visitect Covid-19 test.
The test provides healthcare professionals with an accurate rapid test for the detection of the virus in respiratory swabs in 10 minutes.
Colin King, CEO of Omega, commented: “This is great news for the Mologic test, which we are now producing under our VISITECT brand. It is significant that the test has been shown to have high diagnostic accuracy, but also that this performance is replicated across multiple different settings, different demographics, and on self-collected swab specimens.
“Rapid diagnostic tests play a crucial role in breaking the spread of infection in the community and we are delighted to be a leading manufacturer of these home-grown tests.”
7am: Scotgold production improves
Gold mining company Scotgold said it has been producing both gold concentrate and gravity separated gold Dore, following the resolution of various outstanding technical issues affecting the processing plant announced on 27 April.
The first shipment of concentrate was made on the 11 May, achieving a major milestone for the company which shipped 25 tonnes of concentrate at an average of 182.4 grams per tonne of gold, exceeding the target of 150 grams per tonne and achieving maximum price within the agreed terms within the offtake agreement.
7am: Springfield ahead of forecast
Springfield Properties said it has benefited from growing demand for larger homes with gardens and particularly in village-style settings.
The Scotland-based group said the strong build and sales activity in the first half has been sustained throughout the year.
It has sold approximately 200 plots across two of its large developments in the Central Belt to two national housebuilders.
As a result, the Group expects to report revenue and profit for full year 2020/21 significantly ahead of market expectations, reflecting significant year-on-year growth. The Group has also continued to substantially reduce net debt throughout the year
The group will provide a further update on trading for the year ended 31 May 2021 in July.
7am: JD Sports denies CEO rumour
JD Sports has denied that it is searching for a successor to chief executive and chairman Peter Cowgill after reports at the weekend that investors were unhappy with his dual role.
7am: DeepMatter making progress
DeepMatter Group, the AIM-quoted Glasgow company focusing on digitising chemistry, said half of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical organisations are now using its products.
It reported 300% growth in the number of trials of DeepMatter products, and 18% growth in user numbers.
The company reported a loss of £2.4 million in the year to the end of December (2019: £3m) on revenues of £1.3m (2019: £1.2m).
Mark Warne, CEO, said: “We achieved notable strategic successes and have entered 2021 in a strong position despite the uncertainty created in 2020 by the impact of Covid-19.
“We will continue to build on the momentum of the second half of 2020 in the current year with sales to the pharmaceutical industry and scientific publishers, whilst targeting the CRO and academic sectors who are proving to be the most successful early adopters of our platform.
“We are encouraged by our growing base of committed recurring revenues and an increased pipeline of opportunities. Our increased sales and marketing capability is delivering results, and we have a strengthened financial basis on which to grow. We therefore look forward to the ongoing execution of our growth strategy.”
7am: ASI deal closes
Aberdeen Standard Investments and DEAS Group have successfully completed the real estate transaction announced in late 2020.
DEAS will take over the management of a portfolio of 131 properties consisting of office, warehouse/logistics, retail, and residential buildings valued at €2.5bn.
Additionally, DEAS Asset Management A/S, has been appointed the manager of a portfolio of Nordic assets totalling €1.8bn on behalf of ASI.
Spread betters were expecting the FTSE 100 in positive territory and build on its 6.9% rise since the start of the year.
Traders will be buoyed by a revised OECD forecast that the UK’s growth is set to be the fastest among developed countries.
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed despite steady figures for Chinese manufacturing.
The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.04% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.58% higher.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.20% while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.49%