8.45am: Bus contract lifts security group

Synectics PLC (LON.SNX), the security and surveillance specialist, has seen its shares accelerate after it unveiled a deal with the National Transport Authority in the Irish Republic.

The £1.4mln contract involves the company fitting on-board safety and surveillance systems for new plug-in hybrid double-decker buses made by UK manufacturer Alexander Dennis. The vehicles will be operated by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann. The company already has an existing bus contract with the NTA worth £1mln and announced last July.

Paul Webb, Synectics chief executive, said: “”We are delighted to be working once again with the NTA to support their transition to next-generation, low emission vehicles – a trend we hope to see reflected as part of the UK’s National Bus Strategy development.”

The news comes a week after Synectics announced a letter of intent for a multi-million pound contract for a control system to be installed in London later this year.

Analyst Robert Sanders of house broker Shore Capital said: “We believe that an important inflection point was reached for the group when the S-Bahn contract commenced in Germany last month. In our view, Berlin will now act as an important reference client for other major metropolitan areas considering an integrated transport management solution…

“Given its long-term relationship with Stagecoach, we would also expect Synectics to see an uplift in the UK bus market as and when new hybrid vehicles are more widely rolled out…We continue to believe that when more normal trading conditions return, there will be a significant operationally-geared uplift in profits which should also lead to the resumption of dividends in due course.”

Synectics is up 10p or 7.41% to 145p.

Given Bitcoin’s surge to $50,000 it is no surprise that companies with blockchain in their names are heading higher. Argo Blockchain PLC (LON.ARGO) has climbed 13.64% or 33p to 275p after rising 28% on Tuesday. The company is holding a general meeting on 5 March which will include seeking approval to issue new shares.

Meanwhile Online Blockchain PLC (LON.OBC)  , which helps develop and maintain cryptocurrrency projects across the globe, has surged 20.5% or 15.5p to 91.5p. No news from the company so far.

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