Morning Report: Flat start for FTSE 100; Next to reopen online and distribution operations

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom. The FTSE 100 is set to open higher after the Easter break, though all eyes will be on the upcoming earnings seasons to see the full damage coronavirus is having on company finances.

Next is to re-open its online, warehousing and distribution operations after being closed more than two weeks ago due to coronavirus concerns. The retailer said additional safety measures have been implemented.

AstraZeneca‘s Tagrisso drug produced significant benefits in a final stage trial of lung cancer sufferers taking it as an add-on to major treatment. The trial was overwhelmingly positive said the pharma major.

British gas owner Centrica has promoted interim chief executive Chris O'Shea permanently to the job. O’Shea was chief financial officer before taking up the interim CEO post in March.

VR Education (LON:VRE) has signed a partnership agreement with US-based VictoryXR, a world leader in VR and augmented reality content creation for schools and education. VictoryXR, which specialises in science and virtual animal dissections, will use VR’s Engage platform.

Directa Plus (LON:DCTA) has extended its partnership with Italian road paving specialist Iterchimica and will supply it with a special grade of its G+ graphene product. Under the agreement, Directa Plus will supply G+ exclusively for global use in bitumen and asphalt.

Iofina’s (LON:IOF) fifth iodine extraction plant is up and running and will hit full production in six weeks. Production is continuing despite coronavirus restrictions with first-quarter production similar to the previous year.

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