The rollercoaster ride at Ocado showed little sign of slowing after the online supermarket landed a deal to sell its warehouse robotic technology to Canada’s largest pharmaceutical distributor.
The FTSE 100 firm said its Ocado Intelligent Automation division, which was set up to target clients beyond the grocery industry, will supply its tech to a distribution site owned by McKesson.
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: ‘Today represents a new and exciting milestone as we bring the amazing benefits of Ocado’s technology to the healthcare distribution and logistics sector.
Our technology is ideally suited to supply chains that require dense storage, highly accurate inventory management and secure stock control.
We are very pleased to be expanding in Canada.’ Ocado shares rose 5.6 per cent, or 31.6p, to 596.2p.
Bot deal: Ocado said its Ocado Intelligent Automation division, which was set up to target clients beyond the grocery industry, will supply tech to a distribution site owned by McKesson
The stock has swung wildly in recent years and although it is up around 66 per cent since June it is still down almost 80 per cent since its 2020 peak during the pandemic.
Experian received top marks from investors after a strong update. Shares in the FTSE 100 firm gained 7.5 per cent, or 202p, to 2883p after a 5 per cent rise in revenues to £2.7billion in the six months to the end of September, while profit soared 48 per cent to £615million.
Experian enjoyed a particularly positive performance in Latin America, where sales rose 11 per cent as its consumer services division added millions of new members in the region.
The group also maintained its forecast for revenue to grow between 4 per cent and 6 per cent in the year to the end of March 2024.
The London stock market was on course for a third consecutive day of gains as the FTSE 100 rose 0.62 per cent, or 46.44 points, to 7486.91 and the FTSE 250 was up 0.76 per cent, or 140.35 points, to 18,676.48.
Inflation in the UK eased to 4.6 per cent last month, down from 6.7 per cent in September.
This meant that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met his target of halving inflation, which peaked at 11.1 per cent in October last year.
Stock Watch – Verici DX
Verici DX, an AIM-listed diagnostics group, jumped 70 per cent, or 4p, to 10p, after it signed a major deal.
The US-based group said Thermo Fisher Scientific will develop a test it has designed to identify patients who are at greater risk of experiencing early kidney transplant rejection.
The deal will also see Verici DX offer Thermo Fisher access to some of its urine samples.
It expects to be paid £4million over the next 12 months.
Miners made gains on the back of higher metal prices and Glencore extended its rally a day after the mining giant sealed a multi-billion-pound deal for the coal arm of Canadian rival Teck Resources.
Tullow Oil was up 10.3 per cent, or 3.44p, to 36.94p after the Africa and South America-focused fossil fuel company raised its cash flow forecast for this year by around £40million following higher sales in Gabon and cost-cutting.
It was the group’s second piece of good news this week after it announced a £327million five-year debt facility agreement with Glencore on Monday.
Genuit – the UK producer of plastic piping systems – expects its profit this year to beat market forecasts of £89.7million following effective cost-cutting measures. Shares increased 7.5 per cent, or 22p, to 314p.
Synthomer warned trading remained weak in the four months to the end of October amid wider challenges throughout the chemicals industry.
With Synthomer concluding customer demand will stay subdued for the rest of this year, shares sank 7.7 per cent, or 16.2p, to 194p, taking its losses for the year to over 80 per cent.
Manchester-based tech group Nanoco delivered its first order for two Infra-red sensing materials. It hailed the move as a milestone in its transition from a research and development company into one that sells products. Shares were flat at 18.3p.
The joint business between the fuel cell developer AFC Energy and equipment lender Speedy Hire – Speedy Hydrogen Solutions – placed its first order to buy generators.
Shares in AFC Energy surged 16.7 per cent, or 1.78p, to 14.82p while Speedy Hire slid 0.6 per cent, or 0.2p, to 34.5p.