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Card Factory moves higher after physical stores do better than expected

Card Factory PLC (LON:CARD) added 7% to 84.3p before close after announcing that performance following the reopening of stores in England and Wales has topped expectations.

Sites in Scotland will resume trading on 26 April while those in Northern Ireland have reopened today.

The greeting cards retailer has also headline terms for refinancing with its banks, with more details to be released soon. The banks also extended waivers in respect of anticipated covenant breaches to 31 May 2021, taking account of the company’s cash flow projections.

2.05pm: FireAngel Safety descends after placing shares at a discount

FireAngel Safety Technology Group plc (LON:FA.) descended 10% to 20.2p after announcing plans to raise £6.9mln via an open offer.

The developer and supplier of home safety products is offering 10 open offer shares for every 33 existing ordinary shares at 18p each, which is a 20% discount to Thursday’s closing price.

 The AIM-listed firm has also raised £2.9mln via a firm placing and up to £6.9mln via a conditional placing, with proceeds to be used to fund research and development and shore up the balance sheet.

1pm: CVS Group gallops after revenue, profit upgrade

CVS Group PLC (LON:CVSG) galloped 9% higher to 184p at lunchtime after upgrading expectations for full-year revenue and adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA).

The veterinary services provider said sales are remaining strong and there has been a steady increase in customer demand since the end of March.

It expressed confidence that this strong performance will continue for the remaining months of the financial year ending in June.

12.10pm: Driver Group slips after competitor poaches senior staff

Driver Group plc (LON:DRV) slipped 9% to 50.1p at midday after admitting it has lost senior staff and associated team members to a competitor in the Asia-Pacific region.

The professional services consultancy said it makes up for significant challenges alongside volatility due to lockdowns in key regions.

However, the outlook for the second half year is encouraging, the AIM-listed firm added, with activity levels improved from the low point in January and February at the height of lockdown restrictions in the UK and Europe.

11am: genedrive in demand after Indian regulator approves COVID-19 test

Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) surged 24% to 89.75p in the late morning after its COVID-19 test was approved by the Indian regulator.

The PCR assay achieved 100% sensitivity and specificity in a performance evaluation conducted by the country’s Council of Medical Research.

The plan is to begin “commercial activities” through its existing local distributor Divoc Health, the company said, adding it will also be “seeking additional routes to the market”.

10am: Barclays tanks after falling short of rival banks’ performance

Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) dropped 5% to 179.58p after its first-quarter results showed a sharp variance to the positive updates from its high street banking rivals this week, with an increase in its cost-to-income ratio and cautious approach to bad debts.

“The decision not to adjust its previous bad debt estimates, unlike most of its peer group, appears to have spooked the market along with a patchy investment banking performance and a cautious view on costs as Barclays looks at reducing its physical footprint,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“Less of us seem to be splurging with our credit cards in lockdown judging by the performance of Barclaycard, perhaps because of belt tightening on one side and on the other because some people have built up a cash buffer and therefore don’t need to use credit at a time when there’s less to spend on.”

Elsewhere, Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) tumbled 39% to 1.4p after entering a lock-up agreement with an ad hoc group of bondholders.

This group holds 69% by value of the oiler’s US$230mln convertible bonds due 24 July 2022.

Hurricane will pay its debt by issuing new shares and will pursue a new business strategy that will include extending production case in the Lancaster field.

9am: Jadestone Energy rises early after acquiring four Malaysian licences for US$9mln

Jadestone Energy plc (LON:JSE) was an early riser on Friday, jumping 9% to 64.5p after buying SapuraOMV’s interest in four licences in Malaysia for US$9mln.

The assets have a low operating cost production of 6,000 barrels oil equivalent per day, increasing the AIM-listed firm’s reserves by 34%.

The transaction will be funded with the company’s cash resources.

Elsewhere, Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) climbed 35% to 60.6p after receiving CE mark approval for its MED3000 gel for erectile dysfunction.

The product will be available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription.

The CE mark paves the way for approval in many countries around the world, including in the Middle East, Africa, the Far East and Latin American regions that allow “fast-track” review based on recognition of the EU CE mark.

Proactive news headlines

Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) said its COVID-19 PCR test has been approved by Indian regulator after the 96 SARS-CoV-2 kit achieved 100% sensitivity and specificity in the performance evaluation conducted by the country’s Council of Medical Research.

Enteq Upstream PLC (LON:NTQ) said it landed a new US$1.1mln rental contract from an existing North American customer. The customer will rent Enteq’s core Measurement While Drilling (MWD) technology for a minimum of eight months.

Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) chief executive Richard Marsden said he was “delighted by the findings” from a phase II study of 221 hospitalised and home-based Covid patients.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) said it has now received its CE mark approval for its MED3000 erectile dysfunction gel formulation as a Class 2B approved medical device.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has acquired a package of assets in Louisiana, marking its first deal in a newly identified ‘central’ regional focus area (RFA).

Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX) has updated investors on the outcome of its strategic implementation review while also unveiling a number of changes to its board.

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) has reported improved losses during 2020 as the company said it had “successfully navigated” the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic due to its multiple revenue stream business model, with revenues remained relatively steady at £10mln.

Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH) informed that the board has exercised its discretion to waive the requirement for a mandatory offer for the company by Labro Investments Limited upon the acquisition of up to 10,000,000 ordinary shares in the company.

MetalNRG PLC (LON:MNRG) said it came out of 2020 stronger than it went in and expects to make progress across its portfolio with the possibility of additions.

Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS) has inked a strategic research agreement with the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) that gives it secure access to 1.2mln patient records.

Salt Lake Potash Limited (LON:SO4) (ASX:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) (FRA:W1D) has updated investors in a quarterly report for the period to March 31 as it focused on completing the development of the Lake Way sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Western Australia.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL, TSE:XOP) described a remarkable year as it filed its full year results. “The first half of the year was difficult, but was truly outstanding at year-end,” said Arthur Millholland chief executive said in a statement.

Jersey Oil and Gas PLC (LON:JOG) has introduced a Carbon Policy that sets out its commitments relating to the management of carbon emissions, low-carbon targets and initiatives.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) said its next phase of work will comprise drilling at Ragged Range, its US uranium-vanadium project in Colorado, and resource extension work and ISR test work at Alford East.

Trident Royalties PLC (LON:TRR) said it has eleven active non-disclosure agreements in force currently with opportunities across mineral sands, lead, nickel, copper, gold, zinc, cobalt, potash, and iron ore.

Brickability Group PLC (LON:BRCK) said it has appointed its interim chief financial officer Mike Gant to the position permanently and to the board with immediate effect.

H&T Group Plc (LON:HAT) said Richard Withers has tendered his resignation as chief financial officer to pursue a project outside of the group.

Destiny Pharma PLC (LON:DEST) announced that it was notified on 29 April 2021 that on that same day, Nick Rodgers, chairman of the company, purchased 1,511 shares at a price of 148.7p apiece.

Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) said Vulpes Life Sciences Fund, a person closely associated with non-executive director Martin Diggle has purchased 400,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 20.4p apiece.

Curtis Banks PLC (LON:CBP) announced that its annual general meeting will be held on Thursday 27 May 2021. Due to Covid-19, shareholders are strongly recommended not to attend the AGM in person and are instead requested to complete their form of proxy or submit their votes electronically.

Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG) notified that chief executive Eric Zurrin and chief financial officer Luke Leslie will provide a live investor presentation via the Investor Meet Company platform at 10:30am BST on Wednesday 5th May 2021.

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