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COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Updates from Novartis, Moderna and Novavax

  • June 01, 2020 10:02 PM AEST
  • Hina Chowdhary
    Director, Equities Research Hina Chowdhary
    1460 Posts

    Hina Chowdhary is the Director, Equity Research at Kalkine and has an extensive experience of about 15 years in the area of Research, which includes 5+ years in Equities Research particularly.She has earned a Master of Science degree from the renowne...

COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Updates from Novartis, Moderna and Novavax


  • UK government to train 500 data scientists and use technology to sail through the economic crisis posed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Outside London and South-East, Scotland has one of the strongest technology sector in the UK: Tech Nation Report
  • More than 90,000 digital technology job were posted across the UK for the week ending 9 August 2020, according to latest statistics
  • The digital technology sector employs close to 9 per cent of the UK’s total workforce
  • Sage Group plc’s management is optimistic about the company’s future
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British government is all geared up to use smart technology in policy making so that the struggling economy can come out of the ongoing coronavirus led slowdown as fast as possible.

According to top officials, the UK government is planning to train 500 data scientists and efficiently use data, thereby working hand in hand to promote the nation’s private sector. High quality data will be used to drive digital transformation across small, medium, and large businesses and push up economic growth, shared top officials.

This will not only enable businesses to perform better, but will also help the recovery from Covid-19 disease by passing on the details of the infections to the hospitals in a speedier manner than before.

Tech Nation Report: Scotland Tech Sector Going Strong

Scotland’s tech sector is undergoing rapid growth and is employing a substantial proportion of the country’s total digi-tech workforce, according to a recent report by Tech Nation, the UK’s leading technology industry association. Maximum people are employed in the cities of Edinburg and Glasgow across Scotland.

In fact, media reports often quote that Scotland is soon going to become the new Silicon Valley.

More than 20 per cent of the total workforce of both these cities work for the digital technology space. In fact, close to 70,000 new job opportunities got advertised collectively in Edinburg and Glasgow for the year 2019 (total for Scotland: 113,274).

Moreover, the cities of Belfast and Cambridge also have a high absorption rate for digi-tech jobs.

The latest national trend is equally promising with more than 90,000 digital technology job postings across the nation for the week ending 9 August 2020. The corresponding pre-pandemic weekly figure stood at roughly 150,000 job postings.

According to the details of the new hiring data, Amazon is planning to hire hundreds of new employees across the regions of Dundee and Fife in Scotland.

Overall, the digital technology sector employs close to 9 per cent of the UK’s total workforce.

UK digital technology sector on a hiring spree

Tech Nation noted that the British tech sector has shown resilience and is emerging stronger from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and is on a hiring spree for the past few weeks.

Gerard Grech, chief executive, Tech Nation told that the sector has immense growth potential since digital technology can enhance the efficiency of almost all the areas of our lives.

Technology has played a key role in adopting to the new realities presented by the Covid-19 outbreak by ensuring the social distancing practices and at the same time speeding up our work with efficiency. Therefore, the need for digital skills is on the rise across the nation.

Further, large companies like Google are offering free mentoring to the small-scale firms to learn digital skills and effectively sail through the pandemic crisis.

Performance of Sage Group plc

Sage Group plc (LON: SGE) is a technology company providing digital solutions and insights to the small and medium scale companies, including the cloud technology assistance. These digital solutions are aimed at supporting company staff, finances, and operations.

According to the Sage Group’s financial results for the half yearly period ending 31 March 2020, it displayed a decent growth in the organic recurring revenue of 10.3 per cent.

(Source: Company website)

The recurring revenue growth was supported by a 26 per cent rise in the company’s software subscription base for the six-monthly period. The company’s subscription penetration stood at 62 per cent (H1 19: 52 per cent).

The company is continuing with its investment plans, as was being reflected from the organic operating margin of 22.8 per cent. It had a good cash liquidity availability worth £1.3 billion at the end of H1 20. The company is focused on transitioning its customers to a Sage Business Cloud platform, going forward.

The trading update for the nine months ending 30 June 2020 has also displayed a healthy growth of 9 per cent in the recurring revenue of the Sage Group. Withing the recurring revenue category, the sub-segment of Future Sage Business Cloud Opportunity displayed a revenue growth of 10.6 per cent. The company had a liquidity availability of 1.2 billion pounds at the end of the nine-month period. Total group revenue rose to £1,395 million for the three-quarter timeframe.

Going forward, the group expects its organic operating margins to be 22 per cent for FY 2020.

Sabby Gill, managing director, at Sage Group plc was optimistic about the company’s future. The coronavirus pandemic has showcased the agility of digitally enabled businesses, with many companies, especially in the banking and retail domains, increasingly adopting online operations.

Going forward, the industry and the UK government should work with each other to enable the growth of digital transformation across the economy in a smooth and fast manner, said Gill.

The company stock (LON: SGE), which is a part of the FTSE 100 index, was trading at GBX 725.60 on 9 September 2020 at 12.38 PM, up by 1.8 per cent from the previous day’s close of 712.80. At that time, its 52-week range was recorded to be 534.80 / 794.60 with a market capitalization of 7,786.63 million pounds. The year to date return was recorded to be negative with a value of 4.65 per cent.

At the time of recording, the company stock was trading at almost 35 per cent higher value than GBX 534.80, recorded on 23 March 2020, when Britain went into a lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Also Read: How has Social Media changed the outlook for some Digital Stocks?

Also Read: Shift in Work Pattern and Role of Technology Companies

Also Read: Evaluating the business performances of LSE listed SMWH, ENOG, PETS and SGE

To sum up, the British digital technology sector is displaying good growth across many sectors, driven by the need to go online and raise sales in the pandemic times. The sector is also hiring new staff, which is good news in an economy with an otherwise dull employment outlook since the overall economic output is going down. Sage Group plc has been performing well despite the Covid-19 outbreak.



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