Scapa Group Plc - COVID-19 Update
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Scapa Group plc ("the Company")
Scapa Group plc (AIM: SCPA), a diversified Healthcare and Industrial company focused on bringing best-in-class innovation, design and manufacturing solutions to its customers, announces an update following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19 is prompting governments to implement sudden, restrictive measures in an attempt to curb?the spread of the virus.?During this period, our priorities are to safeguard the health and safety of our employees and our local communities; to support and enforce government actions to slow the spread of COVID-19; and to assess and mitigate the risks to our business continuity.
The Company reiterates guidance for its financial year ending 31 March 2020 and expects Group underlying trading profit to be in line with the trading update provided on 12 February 2020. However, the Company continues to monitor the evolving situation closely. Looking ahead, we expect economic activity and consequently trading to be impacted by restrictive governmental measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19. However the quantum and precise impact will depend on the length of time such measures are in place and the severity of these, which cannot be quantified at this stage. The Group continues to monitor the situation carefully and will update the market in due course.
Our Healthcare sites have been assigned "essential business" status in the US and UK and our Industrial sites are similarly deemed essential manufacturing by these respective governments. As of 26 March 2020, all Scapa sites are operating, with the exception of India, which has been temporarily closed pursuant to Government mandate.
In order to mitigate any potential material adverse financial impact, the Group is taking steps to optimise cash flow, which include cost savings, working capital reduction and tight management of capex. We also intend to suspend the annual dividend. We are closely monitoring, and assessing the relevance to Scapa, all available forms of relief from governments on direct and indirect taxes, social charges and employee relief funds.
In addition, whilst current leverage is 1.6 times, compared to a covenant of 3.0 times, given the considerable uncertainty facing all companies, the Group is exploring all necessary contingency plans and has therefore commenced discussions with its lenders to utilise a £20m uncommitted accordion facility. Current headroom under the existing facility combined with this accordion is expected to provide the Group with combined circa £40m liquidity. In addition we are also in discussions with the pension trustee regarding the bi-annual contributions to create additional flexibility should it be needed.