- The FTSE 100 climbed almost 1% to 5,128.25 in early morning trading after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a country-wide closure of schools.

The near 50-point rise comes as a number of companies make public their battle-plans to survive the current coronavirus crisis, with others reporting a strong first quarter in spite of the market challenges.

Revenue at Ocado Retail has grown 10.3% so far in 2020, reaching £441.2m in the 13 weeks to March 1, 2020.

According to its latest trading statement, the joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer has seen a spike in the value of customer baskets since the quarter end - a result, it says, of coronavirus concerns.

The average number of weekly orders during the period was up 10.2% to 343,000, while the value of the average order increased 0.3% to £110.24.

Ocado's share price, however, fell almost 6% in the early hours to £14.08.

High-end fashion retailer Burberry warned that trading had 'deteriorated significantly' as comparable retail store sales had plunge between 40% and 50% over the last six weeks with around 40% of stores closed globally amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

As result of the reduced demand, the company said it expected its comparable retail store sales in the final weeks of the year to be down between 70% to 80%. 'As a result, we now expect Q4 2020 comparable retail store sales to be around -30%,' it added.

The firm's share price benefited from the announcement, rising 1.63% in early morning trading to £11.21 per share.

Generic pharmaceuticals company Halma warned on profit as the Covid-19 outbreak in the fourth quarter undid the 'good' progress it had made during the last six months. Its share price fell almost 2% to £17.42 per share on the news.

In an update for the period from 1 October 2019 to date, the company said it now expected adjusted pre-tax for the year to be in a range of approximately £265m to £270m, short of current market forecasts of £275.5m.

International engineering company, Meggitt, has confirmed trading in January and February was 'in line with expectations', despite the rapidly changing external environment. Its share price, however, took a tumble in the early hours, falling almost 5% to 214.9p.

The company said it will announce the details of its first quarter trading in a Q1 statement which is slated for April 23, 2020, but said it has already 'put in place a broad range of measures to significantly reduce cost and manage our liquidity over the coming months'.

Automotive retailer Autotrader said its annual results would be broadly in line with market expectations, but warned it would record operating loss in the range of £6m-to-£7m in the next fiscal year amid actions to mitigate the impact of the virus on its clients.

The announcement shaved 12.7 points off its share price during the first few hours of trading, falling 3.4% to 356.5p.

Online brokerage IG said it had revenue increase by more than fifth in the third quarter of the year, driven by a 'significant' increase in active clients and trading activity.

For the three months to 29 February 2020, Revenue was £139.8m, 29% higher than in the same period in the prior year.

Pre-tax profit at retail giant Next was up 0.8% on last year, driven by better than expected full price sales in January.

According to its results for the year ending January 2020, Next brand full price sales were up 4%, and Brand total sales, including markdowns, increased 3.5%.

Online sales were the largest contributor to the boost, generating £2.15 billion in total sales. When compared to the year previous, this represents an 11.9% increase.

Its share price jumped almost 7% following the announcement, reaching 356.5p in early morning trading.

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