Shares in Plant Health Care accelerated their recovery from
a seven-month low after the alternative agrichemicals group revealed initial
endorsement for one of its key products by Germains Seed Technology.
Germains, the largest producer of sugar beet seed outside
the seed giants, is to undertake "large-scale trials" in the US of Plant Health
Care's Harpin product, after promising results from initial tests.
"Trials have shown excellent performance improvements," Paul
Mullan, the Germains Seed Technology chief executive, said.
Besides supporting Plant Health Care's claims for Harpin, which
designed to improve yields by boosting plant immune systems, Germains' decision
will trigger a payment to the agrichemicals group.
A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the size of the
so-called milestone payment.
John Brady, the Plant Health Care chief executive, said that
the announcement of extra trials represented a "very positive development".
He added: "While the milestone payment is welcome, of
greater significance is that sugar beet can now be added to the list of
important crops which respond favourably" to Harpin-based products.
The announcement follows the group's signing in 2010 of an
initial deal with Germains, which is part of the Associated British Foods
Plant Health Care shares, hurt last week when the group said that investors were being too optimistic on its outlook for revenues from joint ventures, stood 6.7% higher at 88p in
lunchtime deals in London.