James Latham Plc - Trading Statement and COVID-19 update
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James Latham plc
("James Latham" or "the Company")
Trading Statement and COVID-19 update
The Board of James Latham provides the following trading statement ahead of the Company's results for the year ended 31 March 2020.
Revenue and profit before tax for the year ended 31 March 2020 are expected to be in line with market expectations. The Company had been performing well with improving margins throughout the second half of the year, until the recent restrictions caused by the COVID-19 virus.
The Company is closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 virus and will continue to refine its contingency plans as more information becomes available. The health of our staff is of primary importance and our technology is being used to good effect to get those that can work at home to work at home.
Customer demand during March has been strong. Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on the 23 March, many of our customers providing non essential services are deciding to close. We are supporting essential businesses who are working with the NHS to provide temporary hospitals and increased capacity at existing hospitals. Our customers are adapting their skills to help with the current crisis. Predicting future demand is very difficult at this stage, given the unprecedented challenge that we are facing. We have decided to have a phased closure of some of our depots whilst retaining the ability to service our important customers who are providing essential services. At all times we will strive to work within the guidelines issued by the Government on maintaining safe distances. This is clearly a difficult time for our staff, and we will be doing all we can to support them and to secure their jobs in the longer term.
We are in very close contact with our suppliers, and at this stage our supply side has remained largely unaffected, but this situation is changing quite quickly.
The Company's balance sheet remains strong with approximately £14m cash which the Board believes gives James Latham the strength to deal with the current market uncertainties.
The Board plans to report its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2020 at the end of June 2020, consistent with the timetable of previous years. However, given recent unprecedented events, we are mindful of the need to ensure we allow sufficient time for the auditors to complete their work and to consider any potential impact on reported results. As a consequence it is possible that there will be a need to delay the release of the preliminary results.