Diploma climbs after placing shares at Tuesdays closing price

Diploma PLC (LON:DPLM) climbed 23% to 2,110p after raising £190mln through a non-pre-emptive placing.

The supplier of specialised technical products and services placed shares at 1,711p each, equalling Tuesdays closing price, with all directors also subscribing.

The proceeds will be used fund the acquisition of Windy City Wire Cable & Technology Products, a distributor of low voltage wire and cable, for up to £357mln.

10.30am: Mission Group slips after turning to interim loss

Mission Group Plc (LON:TMG) was one of the top fallers on Wednesday morning, sliding 13% to 54.5p on the back of its interim results.

The marketing group swung to a £2mln loss before tax in the six months to June 30, from last years £3mln profit, with revenue down 26% to £29mln.

The AIM-listed firm still expects to report a profit for the full year after the COVID-19 hit on revenue started easing.

Elsewhere, Xeros Technology Group plc (LON:XSG) shed 5% to 1.26p after admitting it cannot predict if there will be further disruption to any of its licensees' operations.

The AIM-listed company, which develops technology to make clothing more sustainable, said it is looking to reorganise its share capital by consolidating shares.

In the first six months of 2020, revenue from continuing operations slumped 83% to £215,000 due to the sale of the majority of the US Hydrofinity commercial washing machine contracts to third party channel partners, while profit before tax narrowed 58% to £3mln.

9.05: NAHL Group shoots higher on Frenkel Topping takeover offer

NAHL Group PLC (LON:NAH) shot up 31% to 63.86p in early morning trade on Wednesday after revealing that asset manager Frenkel Topping has proposed to acquire its entire issued share capital.

The National Accident Helpline owner said it is considering the proposal with its advisers, while shareholders were advised not to take any action at this time as there is no certainty an offer will be made.

Elsewhere, Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM) surged 26% higher to 36.48p on the back of the launch of a new graphene-enhanced car polishing product in partnership with Infinity Wax.

Infinity Wax, a specialist car care distributor, will start to market the QDX Graphene Detailing Spray in the fourth quarter of 2020. Detailing sprays enhance the shine of a vehicle and make it much easier to wipe any dirt away, the AIM-listed company said.

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Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM) shares jumped higher on Wednesday on news the firm is to launch a new graphene-enhanced car polishing product in partnership with Infinity Wax, a specialist car care distributor. Infinity Wax will start to market the ground-breaking QDX Graphene Detailing Spray in the fourth quarter of 2020, Applied Graphene Materials said. Detailing sprays enhance the shine of a vehicle and make it much easier to wipe any dirt away. This new product is enhanced with Applied Graphene Materials' market-leading G enable graphene/dispersions and will be available to car owners of all types, Applied Graphene Materials added.

LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP) has reported soaring earnings in the first half of its current year as the migration to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic sparked a surge in demand for its conference call and remote working services. For the six months ended June 30, 2020, the AIM-listed firm reported adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £12.2mln, 247% higher year-on-year, while revenues jumped 43% to £31.9mln. The company highlighted a “material increase” in demand for its core products, revenues from which grew 54% in the period to £27.9mln. LoopUp also reported that volumes for its professional services (PS) grew 90% to 335mln minutes, while volumes at its Event by LoopUp division climbed 88% to 3,596 events.

4D pharma PLC (LON:DDDD) said it has appointed a new independent director to help guide the business to the “next stages of global development”. Dr Katrin Rupallas arrival was announced as 4D also said non-executive director David Norwood would be retiring from the board at the end of the month after six years with the drug developer. Rupalla is currently head of regulatory affairs, medical documentation and R&D quality at Lundbeck, the Danish drug group. She has also held senior positions at Roche, Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) has given investors an exploration update on Project Peregrine on Alaska's North Slope, which is an area picked up in the recent acquisition of XCD Energy. The explorer told investors that seismic reprocessing and analysis – including amplitude vs offset or AVO studies – has identified several similarities between the key prospects at Project Peregrine and existing discovered fields nearby. It said that the findings are very encouraging. Specifically, the companys Harrier and Merlin prospects are described as analogous to Conocos large Willow oil field which is located to the north of exploration area.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR) has said that following the receipt of a resignation letter from the company's incumbent auditor, Chapman Davis , Thor has today formalised the appointment of PKF Littlejohn LLP as its new auditor. The group said the resignation letter received from Chapman Davis noted "no circumstances connected with our resignation which we consider should be brought to the notice of the members or creditors of the Company". The appointment of PKF Littlejohn will be put to a shareholder's vote at the company's next AGM, it added.

Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) has expanded its interest in the esports sector with a new investment in FORMATION Esports, a firm with a focus on esports opportunities within contact sports. The firm said it has invested €125,000 (£115,500) in a subscription for 12.5mln new shares in Formation, providing the investment group with a 9.6% stake in the company, which is incorporated in France with the support of the UNIQORN incubator-accelerator. Blue Star said the fundraising will provide Formation with cash to launch a dedicated esports platform aimed at providing contact sports clubs with revenue and sponsorship generating opportunities and increased exposure.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (AIM:ONC) said it has signed a collaboration to profile samples from Genentech's rheumatology clinical trials, broadening the "commercial footprint” of its ImmunoINSIGHTS service business. Oncimmunes NavigAID arrays will be used to characterise the auto-antibody profiles of patients taking part in studies for rheumatological diseases, including the autoimmune disease lupus. Following the projects completion, Genentech, which is now part of Swiss giant Roche, has the option to expand the contract to profile additional samples.

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) said profits rose in the year to end June 2020, as sales in Germany and elsewhere in Europe stayed strong despite coronavirus disruption. Net profits jumped to £7.1mln, up from £3.5mln a year earlier, though the increase was helped by a legal settlement worth £3.2mln the hay fever treatment specialist said. Allergy had flagged already that revenues for the year had risen by 7% to £78.2mln. Sales in Germany, which accounts for 61% of revenues, rose by 8%, Spain by 10%, the Netherlands 22% and Switzerland 18%.

ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC) has confirmed a swing to profit in the first half of its current year amid what it said were record levels of recurring revenues and orders for its managed detection and response (MDR) division. In its results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, the cybersecurity firm reported adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £52,000, swinging from a £184,000 loss in the prior year, while revenues remained relatively steady at £2.61mln compared to £2.63mln in 2019.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) told investors it is confident that the current phase of exploration at the Big Bear gold project, in Ontario, will result in a pipeline of potential new discoveries. The company noted that ground-truthing and sampling follow-up are progressing for 39 priority geophysical targets. Systematic grid soil sampling and outcrop sampling has so far defined a further five areas of interest within the Big Bear Project including Cook Lake East and Big Duck Creek, Panther noted. At Cook Lake East a broad linear target has been identified, with strike length presently seen at around 600 metres, and up to 250 metres width.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY) said its technology has proved central to breakthrough research that could completely transform the understanding of metastatic cancer. The process of metastasis is where cancer starts to spread to other parts of the body, lodging in vital organs such as the liver or lungs. This is critical because over 90% of patients who succumb to cancer die of the metastatic spread of the disease, not because of the primary tumour. The research, by Professor Nicola Aceto of the University of Basel, has done much to characterise the process by which cancer begins to travel around the body.

European Metals Holdings Ltd (LON:EMH) said it has hired SMS Group Process Technologies GmbH as lead engineer at the Cinovec project in Czech Republic. SMS will be working on the minerals processing and lithium battery-grade chemicals production, to provide a complete Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for Cinovec. The FEED is a key component in the ongoing workstreams for the mine projects definitive feasibility study. Under the agreement, SMS will design the full process integration, from the receipt of ore to the underground crusher to the delivery of finished battery-grade lithium chemicals product.

Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) announced that the first contract for Paddington Bear has been signed with the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds. The live events and entertainment specialist said it is the second time it has partnered with the White Rose Centre, which will showcase the Paddington Bear Models during the Christmas period 2020. The firm is producing a touring interactive experience based on the Paddington Bear brand, a well-known character in childrens literature created by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.

Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) has appointed Dr Peter Reynolds as the group's Vice President for Clinical Innovation and Compliance. Reynolds is a Consultant Neonatologist and Paediatrician at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey and is heavily involved in research, quality improvement and teaching, Inspiration Healthcare said, with his speciality the Read More – Source

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