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Invinity Energy PLC arises after winning government grant for storage project

Invinity Energy PLC (AIM:IES) has seen its shares powered up by news of government funding.

The energy storage specialist has received £708,371 from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy under the first phase of the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration competition.

The award will fund a planning and feasibility study for what the company hopes could become one of the UK’s largest co-located solar and energy storage projects.

If the first phase is successful, the company then expects to construct a 40 MWh Invinity Vanadium Flow Battery, funded in part by phase two of the LODES programme.

Invinity is leading the project consortium, which includes Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and EDF R&D UK.

Work on the feasibility study has already started and is expected to progress throughout 2022.

Infinity shares are up 9.59% at 80p.

2.10pm: Eco Animal Health boosted by marketing deals in China for pigs and poultry

Eco Animal Health Group PLC (AIM:EAH) has roared ahead after it unveiled new approvals in China.

The company has received two marketing authorizations from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for the use of its Aivlosin water soluble granules for treating diseases in pigs and poultry.

The first approval allows the company to market Aivlosin in China for the treatment of respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasma and other sensitive bacteria in chickens laying eggs for human consumption and breeding chickens.

The second approval is for an extension of its swine respiratory disease registration.

Chief executive Marc Loomes said: “China is the world’s largest producer of table eggs and accounts for more than a third of the world’s laying birds. Aivlosin is the first antimicrobial registered for use in laying hens producing eggs for human consumption, with a zero day egg withdrawal period.

“This will enable Eco to target a new sector, the commercial egg producer, where Mycoplasmosis can cause significant economic losses. China is also the largest pork producing country in the world and broader product label claims in the key swine respiratory disease segment will serve our business well as the market recovers in the future.”

Eco shares are up 6.15% at 172.5p.

12.04pm: genedrive signs overseas distribution deals for COVID-19 test

genedrive PLC (AIM:GDR) has seen its shares accelerate after a positive update on its rapid point of care molecular test for COVID-19.

The test, which delivers positive results as quickly as 7.5 minutes and negative results at 17 minutes, was CE market in December.

The company has now entered into distribution agreements covering Spain, Portugal, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, with other opportunities continuing to be assessed in other EU countries.

The customer base that distributors are targeting includes pharmacies, sports and private workplaces. Market requirements differ from country to country depending on government policies and legislation. The company said the initial arrangements are designed to both access and assess the longer-term market potential in each country.

It also has product evaluation continuing in the UK to access specific occupational health markets. The product cannot be commercially sold yet in the UK, as CTDA approval is still pending. With UK government statutory requirements for COVID-19 testing changing rapidly, it said future opportunities would be discretionary testing versus government mandates.

Chief executive David Budd said: “Progress since CE marking is as expected in terms of timeline and a focus on specific use cases. We are pleased with the distributor agreements we have contracted to date and expect to expand to additional countries in due course. While UK government policy has changed, opportunities are continuing in other markets that are taking a different approach with regards to testing.”

Its shares have added 22.41% to 17.75p.

10.41am: Unite Group gets good marks from investors after moving back into profit

Unite Group PLC (LSE:UTG), the student housing business, has passed its latest test after moving back into profit.

Its full year score shows it turning losses of £120mln into a £343.1mln profit.

Chief executive Richard Smith, said: “The business has seen a strong recovery in performance in 2021 and is well positioned for further growth due to our alignment to the strongest universities, an enhanced reputation thanks to our supportive actions during the pandemic and our best- in-class operating platform…

“The outlook for the business and the UK Higher Education sector is strong, driven by rising participation rates, increased demand for our product from returning students, significant and sustained demographic growth and Government support for growth in international student numbers.

“We have our biggest ever development pipeline and the balance sheet capacity to pursue new growth opportunities through university partnerships and targeted acquisitions. We are confident in our ability to attract more of the students currently living in the HMO [houses in multiple occupation] sector and also see potential to extend our platform to cater to the growing number of young professional renters living in major UK cities. Together this underpins significant future earnings growth and attractive total returns for shareholders.”

Unite shares have received a positive mark from investors, rising 5.93% to 1049.5p.

9.43am: Symphony Environmental Technologies boosted by US contract for biodegradable plastic bottles

Symphony Environmental Technologies PLC (AIM:SYM) has been boosted by news of a US order for a key product.

The company has signed a two year exclusive US contract with packaging group Better Earth LLC to use its d2w biodegradable plastics technology in nutritional supplement bottles

Better Earth, which has been working with Symphony for the last two years, initially on R&D and then trials to demonstrate a reduction in the environmental impact of discarded plastic bottles, will launch the products at the “Natural Products” Exhibition on 8 March 2022.

Manufacturing is expected to start with 20mln d2w bottles of all sizes, growing to 120mln in the first year of exclusivity.

Symphony’s chief executive Michael Laurier, said “This contract with Better Earth is an important milestone for Symphony, being the first commercial use of d2w for bottles made of rigid plastic.

“Furthermore, and as we have previously reported, Symphony has an extensive sales pipeline of more than 100 d2p and d2w projects, for which it is always pleasing when the trials and pre-production projects proceed to commercial contract. We are pleased to have worked with Better Earth to answer all their questions about our d2w technology, to help them find the right solution and which we hope helps them grow their business.”

Symphony shares have added 6.85% to 19.5p.

8.59am: Eve Sleep soars after link-up with furniture retailer DFS

Investors in eve Sleep PLC (AIM:EVE) can rest easy today.

Its shares have soared 54.29% to 2.7p after the matress specialist unveiled a partnership with furniture retailer DFS.

Initially the agreement will cover the dfs.co.uk website, but there are plans to extend the partnership to the DFS showroom estate later in the year. DFS will stock a range of eve mattresses, including eve’s Original and Premium Hybrid models, as well as a range of eve bedframes. Plans are in place to extend the ranges at a later date.

Eve chief executive Cheryl Calverley said: “This is a very exciting partnership for eve as DFS seek to extend their ‘comfort’ positioning beyond the living room and bring eve’s award winning mattresses to a wider audience. [It] recognizes the strength of the eve sleep product range and brand, continuing the momentum in our UK and Ireland business.”

Defense company Cohort PLC (AIM:CHRT) is also higher after announcing a new deal.

Its SEA subsidiary has been appointed to supply its Torpedo Launcher System to Hyundai Heavy Industries for two new Philippine Navy corvettes. The contract follows the successful delivery of SEA’s torpedo system for the Philippine Navy’s frigates.

Andy Thomis, Cohort chief executive, said: “Together with other recent wins across the group, this contract will enhance the visibility of future group revenue.”

Cohort shares are up 4.56% at 470p.

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