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Shares in NXT gained sharply on Thursday morning after the company clinched a contract with Vodafone’s Japanese unit to provide flat screen speaker technology for one of its branded mobile phones.

The shares jumped 19.5 per cent to 78¼p on the news that Vodafone KK would be selling a Toshiba-made handset, the V501T, which incorporates NXT’s technology from July.

“We are delighted to be to be announcing the introduction of the Toshiba handset, the second NXT-enabled mobile phone to launch in Japan since the start of the year,” said Peter Thoms, chief operating officer.

NXT has developed a technology called SoundVu that allows flat screens on mobile phone handsets to act as loudspeakers.

According to the company, handsets employing SoundVu have a larger audio sweet spot making it “easier on the ear” as users do not have to align the loudspeaker directly to the ear canal. NXT claims the technology enhances gaming and movie-watching on phones, making for a “truly immersive” experience.

“The handset’s exceptional audio-visual performance and striking appearance combine to make one of the most unique mobile phones available today,” added Mr Thoms.

News of the deal with Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone operator, was a boost for the UK small-cap which has suffered from mixed fortunes. NXT shares have see-sawed as it signs up customers but worries remain about its financial position.

NXT’s year began well after NTT Docomo, Japan’s biggest leading phone company, launched the first handset containing SoundVu, sending NXT shares up 68.9 per cent.

But, despite narrowing full-year losses to £2.7m, analysts are worried that the company may run out of cash before its technology become commercially viable.

However, fears eased a little after Citizen Electronics, the Japanese electronics company, said in April it would invest in NXT’s loudspeaker technology, feeding hopes of increased production.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.

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