FTSE 100 opened higher despite the COVID-19 chaos helped by a US rally late on Thursday and a softer sterling. London’s leading index climbed 77 points to 5,910 in early trading.
John Lewis Partnership has announced a £1bn overhaul plan to make the department store online-focused and reach £400mln annual profits by 2025. The Waitrose owner will also turn 20 sites into housing, boost its retail credit card business and set up new garden centres.
JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) has blasted the current coronavirus restrictions and asked for more sensible rules for the hospitality industry. The publican plunged to a half-year loss due to enforced closures.
Meanwhile, Lookers PLC (LON:LOOK) is still waiting to release two sets of results, suspended with its shares as part of a fraud investigation. The car dealer said the summer profits will make up for the losses caused by the lockdown.
Among the small caps, Braveheart-Investment-Group (LON:BRH) investee company Paraytec has completed proof of concept trials for a coronavirus test it is developing with the University of Sheffield. Regulatory approval is currently being sought for live virus trials and the acquisition of clinical data.
Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA) is forming a joint-venture with the UK and South African arms of BHA-Medical to deliver an integrated coronavirus (COVID-19) test, monitor and manage programme. The AIM-listed technology and media group is the developer of the Cov-ID electronic passport.
IXICO PLC (LON:IXI) is to provide its neuroscience and data analytics expertise to a trial being run by NYU Langone Health to assess a new and potentially breakthrough use for a drug called Sirolimus. IXICO's existing MSA analysis solutions will be applied retrospectively to collected MRI data from patients with the condition.