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Safestyle UK PLC (SFE)

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Thursday 14 May, 2020

Safestyle UK PLC

AGM Statement

RNS Number : 8397M
Safestyle UK PLC
14 May 2020
 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.  Upon the publication of this announcement via the Regulatory Information Service, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

14 May 2020

Safestyle UK plc

("Safestyle", the "Company" or the "Group")

 

AGM Statement

Alan Lovell, Chairman of Safestyle UK plc, the leading UK focused retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows and doors for the homeowner market, will make the following statement at today's Annual General Meeting ("AGM"):

Lockdown Period Update

Since the end of March, in line with our commitment to the health and safety of our people and guidance published by the Government in relation to the UK's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, all of the Company's locations across the country have remained temporarily closed and all survey and installation activities paused.

Throughout this lockdown period, the Company has furloughed the majority of its workforce and has benefitted from the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in covering the majority of the ongoing staff costs associated with retaining its workforce.  The Company has kept a limited number of employees working to maintain telephone contact with customers and provide them with emergency service support alongside regular updates on the status of their orders. 

Immediately following the temporary cessation of our operations in March, the Company successfully raised £8.5 million in a share placing and obtained a covenant waiver on its existing borrowing facilities for the duration of the lockdown period from its lenders.  Together with the initiatives undertaken to preserve cash, these actions have strengthened the Group's balance sheet and resulted in available liquidity in excess of £12m at the date of the AGM.

Restarting Operations

In light of the Government's updated guidelines, the Group's senior management are now planning a restart of our commercial operations.  The plan is based on a phased and measured return to work for the business and involves a number of temporary changes to our policies and practices to ensure staff and customer safety. As a business, we are confident in our ability to operate in line with the COVID-19 Secure guidelines, as soon as it is permissible to do so.

With the necessary health and safety measures in place, the Company is currently expecting to restart operations, including manufacturing, installations, surveying and selling activities by the end of May.  Staff working in the Company's various support functions will also begin to return to work in line with this phased restart, although the Company will continue to ensure people who are able to work from home do so. 

Clearly there are high levels of uncertainty around consumer demand for the year ahead, the challenges of selling in home and the competitive environment.  The Company will seek to adjust to this operating context rapidly.  It will continue to utilise the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as required through the summer, whilst maintaining tight controls on the Group's cost base and closely monitoring available liquidity.

Looking Forward

It remains impossible to provide financial guidance for the year ending 31 December 2020 in the current environment pending further certainty of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer confidence and any negative impact on established ways of working.  As and when we are able to provide further information we will do so.

Whilst the short-term outlook remains uncertain, the Board has considered various scenarios as part of plans to re-start operations safely in response to customer demand and continues to target progress made in the Group's Turnaround Plan.  Moreover, the business is more resilient with a leaner fixed cost base and considerable liquidity to underpin its ability to navigate through the challenges presented by the pandemic and return to its plans as quickly as possible.

Enquiries:

Safestyle UK plc

Mike Gallacher, Chief Executive Officer

Rob Neale, Chief Financial Officer

 

via FTI Consulting

Zeus Capital (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Dan Bate / D aniel Harris / Dominic King

 

Tel: 0203 829 5000

Liberum Capital Limited (Joint Broker)

Neil Patel / Jamie Richards

 

Tel: 0203 100 2100

FTI Consulting (Financial PR)

Alex Beagley / James Styles / Sam Macpherson

 

Tel: 0203 727 1000

About Safestyle UK plc

The Group is the leading retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows and doors to the UK homeowner market.  For more information please visit www.safestyleukplc.co.uk or www.safestyle-windows.co.uk .

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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