Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Airea Plc NEX:AIEA.GB NEX Ordinary Share GB0008123027
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 23.00 20.00 25.00 23.00 23.00 23.00 0.00 07:55:14
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
- - - -

Airea PLC Covid-19 trading update, dividend and AGM

26/03/2020 12:18pm

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


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RNS Number : 7399H

Airea PLC

26 March 2020

AIREA PLC

(the "Group")

COVID-19 Trading update, dividend and Annual General Meeting

The principal activity of the Group is the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of commercial floor coverings.

2020 Trading and Full Year expectations

Trading to date including the majority of Q1 2020 has been in line with our expectations and reasonably resilient to the unprecedented events that have unfolded in recent weeks; however, following the recent guidance issued by the government in response to COVID-19 the Group expects an overall reduction in demand for flooring products. At this stage it is not possible to estimate what the financial impact will be for the financial year ending 31 December 2020.

Working capital, cash flow and liquidity

Until government restrictions are lifted the Group is focused on cash and overhead management in preparation for an expected reduction in market activity.

All non-critical expenditure has halted whilst planning is ongoing with our supply chain to phase orders in line with our order expectations but mindful of the fact we will be looking to fulfil orders as usual as and when they are received.

The Group is confident in the strength of its balance sheet and cash reserves and can point to the following as reported at 31 December 2019:

   --      Cash of GBP3.0m with current cash YTD slightly ahead of the year-end balance 

-- GBP5.5m of inventory which will enable the Group to fulfil demand in the near term from its facility in Ossett, which remains open

-- An overdraft facility increased from GBP0.5m at 31 December 2019 to GBP1.0m should this be required by the Group

   --      Freehold property valued at GBP7.0m included within net assets of GBP13.9m 

In addition the Group is assessing the range of COVID-19 financial support packages announced by the government and believes it will be eligible for most of the support available.

People

The board would like to praise the commitment and contribution of its employees during this difficult time and intends to protect the wellbeing of its people and preserve employment in line with the UK Governments aim. Employees impacted by the change in operations due to COVID-19 will be paid an enhanced form of the UK Governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

2019 Final Dividend - Resolution 2

Notwithstanding the current balance sheet strength and liquidity headroom, the board has taken the difficult decision to withdraw resolution 2 that was proposed in the Group's Annual General Meeting ("AGM") notice dated 4 March 2020 in relation to the proposed final dividend of 1.3p payable on 20 May 2020.

The board recognises that this is a significant step to take, but given the unprecedented and unpredictable situation we face, considers it to be the right and prudent course of action to protect the Group's cash position and maintain financial flexibility in the interests of all the Group's shareholders.

AGM change of venue

The board is reviewing the options available to the Group in terms of the AGM which is to be held on 14 May 2020. The Waterton Park Hotel has closed in line with government guidance so the venue has been changed to the Airea plc head office at Victoria Mills, The Green, Ossett, West Yorkshire, WF5 0AN.

Shareholder and Board attendance at the AGM

Given the recent UK government advice in relation to Covid-19, we strongly discourage shareholders from attending the upcoming AGM in person and advise all shareholders to vote via proxy as an alternative, to minimise any potential risks to yourselves and others as a result of attending the Company's AGM.

The use of the proxies should enable the meeting to proceed with as few people physically present as are necessary to meet the quorum whilst following the government guidelines limiting public gatherings to no more than 2 people.

We have decided to limit the attendance of the Board to one director and the Company's secretary. No other directors will be present in person.

The AGM will be held for the sole purpose of approving the formal business as set out in the Resolutions contained in the Notice of AGM (save as indicated below in relation to Resolution 2). There will be no update on trading or other management statements and no opportunity for networking. We will not be hosting refreshments on this occasion.

Immediately after the formal business of the meeting any shareholders in attendance will be required to vacate the venue to minimise physical contact time between shareholders and our Board members

We propose to provide an opportunity for shareholders to listen in to the AGM by telephone, but please note you will be unable to exercise your voting rights via telephone. Please do vote via proxy in advance of the meeting.

By way of a reminder, a link to the Form of Proxy is available at www.signalshares.com

We strongly encourage you that if you decide to attend the AGM that you follow the latest NHS advice at that time:

-- Please do not attend if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who does.

   --      Please practice social distancing. 
   --      Please wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before entering the AGM venue. 

-- Please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.

   --      Please avoid handshaking. 
   --      Please use the hand sanitiser and tissues available at the venue. 

We do apologise for any inconvenience caused by these changes and arrangements but the Board considers it the most appropriate way for the Company to hold its AGM in the circumstances. The results of the AGM will be published via regulatory news service as soon as possible after the meeting and published on our website www.aireaplc.com/investors

Martin Toogood

Chairman

26 March 2020

Enquiries:

 
 Neil Rylance                01924 266561 
 Chief Executive Officer 
 
 Paul Stevenson              01924 266561 
 Group Finance Director 
 
 Peter Steel / Ben Farrow    020 7496 3000 
 N+1 Singer 
 

This announcement contains inside information for the purpose of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014

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 rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

END

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March 26, 2020 08:18 ET (12:18 GMT)

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