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H&T Group PLC (HAT)

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Monday 06 April, 2020

H&T Group PLC

COVID-19 Update

RNS Number : 8135I
H&T Group PLC
06 April 2020
 

6th April 2020

 

 

 

H&T Group plc

 

COVID-19 Update

 

H&T Group plc ("H&T" or the "Group"), the UK's leading pawnbroker, provides an update on the impact of Covid-19.

 

Since the announcement of our results on 10 March 2020, we have been making changes in our approach to operations given the impact of Covid-19 on our business.  Since Her Majesty's Government issued advice on 24 March outlining the need for further social-distancing measures and the request to close retail stores, we have closed our network of 253 stores. To support our customers during this challenging period, we have unilaterally declared an interest holiday on outstanding secured loans while our stores are closed or until further notice. We are in the process of arranging to be able to accept online repayments and to make cash advances via a portal. 

While it is too soon to accurately determine the effect of Covid-19 and despite the strength of our financial position (as summarised on 10 March), the Board has decided that it is prudent to withdraw the recommendation to pay the final dividend of 7.0 pence per share.  Consequently, there will be no dividend resolution in the notice of our Annual General Meeting. This decision not to pay a final dividend strengthens the Board's view that the group remains appropriately capitalised with recurring strong cash flows at this unprecedented point in time. This action, together with a series of significant measures to reduce costs and tightly manage cash flow, further strengthens our financial position and liquidity. The CEO and chairman have reduced their salary remuneration to 50% for the duration of the branch closures.

We are grateful to HM Government for the significant support at this time including their schemes covering rates holidays, support for our colleague furlough programme and other government initiatives. H&T has cash on hand and unutilised headroom on its banking facility, together with stocks of gold jewellery. However, in the current extraordinary climate the board believes it is prudent to maximise the group's resilience in the face of this exogenous shock. 

 

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

H&T Group plc 

Tel: 020 8225 2797
John Nichols, Chief Executive

Richard Withers, Chief Financial Officer

 

Numis Securities (Broker and Nominated Adviser) 

Tel: 020 7260 1000

Luke Bordewich - Nominated Adviser

Henry Slater

 

Haggie Partners (Public Relations) 

Tel: 020 7562 4444

Damian Beeley

Caroline Klein

Vivian Lai 

 

 

 


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