Market ReportMarket Movers

Immotion commotion as it signs virtual reality deal with a Florida zoo

A look at the day's major movers, including Aptitude Software, Watches of Switzerland, Veltyco, Johnson Matthey, Nuformix, HemoGenyx, De La Rue and Real Good Food

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3.40pm: Immotion buoyant as it inks agreement to install VR pods at Santa Barbara Zoo

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO) rose more than 10% after it revealed it is to install its virtual reality (VR) cinema pods at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

The zoo, in Florida, will the first to incorporate Immotion's products.

The VR entertainment group said that it would also be installing its pods at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, one of the oldest aquariums in the US.

2.50pm: Aptitude Software bins Microgen spin-off; goes for private sale instead

Markets gave a warm reception to Aptitude Software Group PLC’s (LON:APTD) plans to sell Microgen, pushing the shares up 11%.

The provider of business-critical software and services is offloading Microgen Financial Systems, which provides wealth management software, for £51mln to a private equity group.

The disposal is being made in preference to the previous idea of spinning out Microgen as a separate company.

2.00pm: Watches of Switzerland off to a fast start

Watches of Switzerland Group PLC (LON:WOSG) was running fast on its market debut, with the shares up 10%/

The UK’s largest luxury watch retailer priced its stock at 270p each, near the upper end of the 250p-277p range it had targeted.

The shares started trading at 8am on Thursday; by mid-afternoon, the shares were changing hands at 298p each, having reached as high as 315p at one point.

The 298p price point gives the company a market value of around £713mln.

1.15pm: Mereo encouraged by early results from brittle bone disease trial

Mereo BioPharma Group Plc (LON:MPH), up 11%, joined the ranks of biotech enjoying a good day on the back of positive trial data.

The company trumpeted positive early six-month data from the open label arm of the phase 2b clinical study in adult patients with brittle bone disease.

The so-called “ASTEROID” study is targeting a positive percentage change over baseline results in the bone mineral density of the wrist.

The study is set to run for 12 months but early results are encouraging with “clear and encouraging percentage changes over baseline” being observed at the halfway point.

12.30pm: Johnson Matthey reverses after cautioning on margins

Johnson Matthey PLC (LON:JMAT) shares tumbled 4.9% after the platinum refiner found the market hard to please with its full-year results.

The company hiked its dividend by 7% as it delivered a sharp rise in 2019 pre-tax profit and maintained its guidance for the year ahead but that was not enough to appease investors.

The shares have been a decent run this year, rising from 2,779p to 3,184p at last night's close but some profit taking was evident as the company cautioned that it expects investments to hit margins in the near term.

11.45am: Existing shareholder pays well over the odds to increase his stake in Veltyco

Veltyco Group plc (LON:VLTY) shares rose 12% to 3.25p after the online marketing company focused on the gaming industry, received a cash injection.

The company said Peter Westerterp subscribed for 4mln shares at 6.6p a pop, increasing his stake to 4.2mln shares, equivalent to roughly 5.1% of Veltyco's issued share capital.

The company will use the money for general working capital purposes.

11.00am: Nuformix on the rise after positive results for NXP001 clinical trial

Nuformix (LON:NFX) was up by a third after unveiling positive results in its clinical study for the company's lead programme NXP001.

The pharmaceutical development company, which is using co-crystal technology to unlock the therapeutic potential of approved small molecule drugs, said its lead drug – a treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea – achieved “bioequivalence to Merck's EMEND” drug.

“The results have positive implications for our NXP001 programme and provide further validation for Nuformix's overall business model. The results trigger payment of the final £2m milestone from Newsummit Biopharma, advance product registration in China and allow us to progress further discussions for out-licensing NXP001 worldwide,” said Dr Dan Gooding, the chief executive officer of Nuformix.

10.15am: HemoGenyx Pharmaceuticals delivers encouraging data on antibody drug candidate

HemoGenyx Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HEMO) shares soared 67% on the back of new data on its antibody drug candidate for use in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

The company has already shown the treatment may have a role in tackling acute myeloid leukaemia and now the latest lab tests have revealed the CDX bi-specific antibody is capable of eliminating a subset of ALL cells that contain mixed-lineage leukaemia 1 gene rearrangements and that overexpress a protein called FLT3.

Hemogenyx said it is planning to verify the efficacy of CDX in ALL in an animal model in the near future.

9.30am: De La Rue slaughtered and quartered; Real Good Food sent to the naugty step

Commercial security printer and papermaker, De La Rue PLC (LON:DLAR) lost a quarter of its market value – and its boss – after another profit warning, with its shares plunging 25.7% to 340p.

Martin Sutherland is stepping down after five years as chief executive officer of De La Rue. His departure coincided with the announcement of a three-year cost reduction programme to deliver annual savings of £20mln by fiscal year 2022.

The plan is to simplify the business by focusing on two divisions: currency and authentication.

Another company making changes at the top is Real Good Food PLC (LON:RGD), the food ingredients company, after being sent to the naughty step for breaking AIM’s rules back in 2017.

The company’s shares were off 8.8% after it announced it had been fined £300,000 by the London Stock Exchange for its transgressions.

The interim non-executive chairman, Patrick Ridgwell, has decided it is an appropriate time to retire from the board, and let Mike Holt, currently the chair of the Audit Committee, take over as chairman of the board. Ridgwell’s deputy, Chris Thomas, will also retire from the board.

Proactive news headlines:

HemoGenyx Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HEMO) chief executive Vladislav Sandler said the company was encouraged by new data on its antibody drug candidate for use in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD) has revealed a successful outcome in its well testing programme at the Blazh-10 well in western Ukraine. Blazh-10 produced some 275 barrels of oil per day during testing and the company has now decided to continue producing from the well in natural flow.

BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) has announced plans to roll out its yield management platform for restaurants across the entire UK. The London-listed firm said that to ensure a smooth rollout it had divided the UK into ten territories and would begin recruiting managers for each, a process that would take around three to four months.

ITM Power PLC (LON:ITM) “is undoubtedly in the right place at the right time”, chief executive Graham Cooley told investors as the energy storage and clean fuel company provided an upbeat assessment of current trading and prospects.

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO) shares bobbed higher on Thursday after it signed an agreement to install its virtual reality (VR) cinema pods at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Florida, the first zoo to incorporate its products.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) has agreed to acquire Dutch-based risk management and post-trade services group Object+ for around £3mln.

Renewables investor Greencoat UK Wind PLC (LON:UKW) has raised £375mln through a share issue at 133p for more additions to its portfolio of windfarms. Stephen Lilley, the fund’s manager, said the money raised would strengthen the balance sheet and enable it to take advantage of a large pipeline of opportunities currently available.

Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGP) is to showcase two applications of its graphene technology in the aerospace sector at a prestigious industry event. The graphene specialist will attend the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) showcase event to present the results of the two projects.

Brady PLC (LON:BRY), the provider of trading and risk management solutions to the energy and commodities sectors, has traded in line with expectations this year.

Quadrise Fuels International PLC (LON:QFI) has pencilled a partnership deal with Saudi Arabia-based investment firm, Al Khafrah Holding Group.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) chief executive Brian Larkin has described himself as delighted as the explorer reported on a “year of considerable progress”. Big Pic in February.

Lombard Odier has conditionally agreed to make another investment in i3Energy PLC (LON:I3E), the independent oil and gas company. Funds managed by Lombard Odier Asset Management will buy £3mln of i3 loan notes, and has also signed up to take £2mln of new shares issued at 37p a pop and warrants to subscribe for £3mln of new shares.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has raised £900,000 through an equity sale organised by the company’s broker SVS Securities. The funds will be used to meet the group’s current financing needs in Romania where it is advancing towards production.

Afarak Group PLC said Wednesday that it has made agreements regarding its funding after securing a combination of an off-take agreement for chrome ore and several financing agreements. Under the off-take agreement, the group said it will deliver goods from its South African mines from July 2019 to July 2023 and against these deliveries will receive a prepayment for the goods.

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS), the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, announced that 77,006 new ordinary shares have been issued to the vendors of Fire Without Smoke Ltd. in respect of the non-contingent deferred share consideration due on the first anniversary of the business being acquired.

Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) announced the receipt of a new shareholder loan conversion notice in relation to 1,546,934 new ordinary shares in the company from a lender at a conversion price of 10.0p per share.

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