5 May 2020
The 600 Group PLC
Covid-19 Trading Update
The 600 Group PLC (“the Group” or the “Company”), the diversified industrial engineering company (AIM: SIXH), today announces a trading update in response to the impact of Covid-19.
As reported in the trading update on 21 February 2020, trading conditions were more challenging with volatile order intake in both Machine Tools and Industrial Laser Systems, including a number of projects being delayed until the next financial year. The evolving international response to COVID 19, including government restrictions on working and movement, have impacted the Company. The health and wellbeing of the Group’s employees remains the key priority for the Group and steps have been taken to protect all employees at the Company’s operating sites in line with relevant regulatory guidance. At the same time, deliveries during March 2020 across all regions in which the Group operates have been negatively affected. The ongoing restrictions also continue to create supply challenges, particularly in the general engineering sectors.
Trading results for the year to 28 March 2020 are expected to be broadly in line with the Board’s previously revised expectations. However, given the unprecedented uncertainty around the impact of Covid-19 the Board are unable to provide any guidance for the current financial year ended 31 March 2021 until such time as the Group receives more clarity.
To help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, the Group is taking advantage of government schemes and stimulus packages, including loans under the USA Government Paycheck Protection Program and, has taken action to reduce overheads wherever possible. The Group has adopted short time working, has furloughed staff and has adopted temporary salary reduction schemes for many employees across the Group including, with effect from 1 March 2020, the Board and senior executives. The Company has also deferred all non-critical capital expenditure.
Following the de-risking of the Group with the receipt of surplus from the successful pension scheme buy out in 2019 and the sale of the Gamet business and property in the year ended 28 March 2020, debt levels remain in line with those at the previous year end and the Group is covenant compliant with adequate banking facilities.
Paul Dupee, Executive Chairman, stated “Despite the short-term end-market weaknesses and macroeconomic uncertainty, the Board continues to believe in the long-term fundamentals of the Group. The Board have taken decisive action to reduce costs and to keep the workforce and technical competencies together to ensure the Group is well placed to reap the immediate benefits when the markets return to normality”.
The 600 Group PLC
Paul Dupee, Executive Chairman
Neil Carrick, Finance Director
Tel: 01924 415000
Tel: 0207 457 2020
Spark Advisory Partners Limited (NOMAD)
Tel: 020 3368 3553
WH Ireland (Broker)
Tel: 020 7220 1666
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014
About The 600 Group PLC
The 600 Group PLC is a distributor, designer and manufacturer of industrial products with three principle areas of activities:
The business has a strong reputation in the market for metal turning machines. Products range from small conventional machines for education markets, CNC workshop machines and CNC production machines. Selected outsourcing partners support the manufacturing of these machines and they are marketed through the Group’s wholly owned international sales organisation and a global distribution network.
Precision Engineered Components
Machine spares are distributed to customers globally to help maintain the installed base of group machines which number in excess of 100,000. Additionally, work holding products are sold via specialist distributors to OEMs, including other machine builders.
Industrial Laser Systems
Industrial laser systems cover laser marking and processing including cutting, drilling, ablation and a host of other niche applications in the marking and micro machining sectors. They require no consumables, can operate on a continuous high speed basis and can be integrated into customers’ production lines. The businesses have their own technology and proprietary software. Customer applications are diverse and range from aerospace to medical and pharmaceuticals. The requirement for increased product and component traceability is one of the market drivers.
More information on the Group can be viewed at: www.600group.com