Trading and COVID-19 Update
30th March 2020
Autins Group plc
(the "Company" or the "Group")
Trading and COVID-19 Update
Autins Group plc (AIM: AUTG), a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of acoustic and thermal insulation solutions for the automotive sector, is pleased to confirm that the operating performance of the Group in the first five months of the financial year until the end of February 2020 has been ahead of management expectations and much improved compared to the same period last year. This has been driven by significant improvements in operational efficiencies and better overhead cost control. All three operating countries have been EBITDA positive and the company continues to win significant new business.
However, the recent escalation in the COVID-19 virus crisis has led to plant shutdowns across the European automotive sector, including PSA, Volkswagen, Fiat, BMW and JLR. As a result, the Board anticipates significantly reduced demand for its products for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the Board has already taken proactive action in all our facilities. These mitigating actions include a reduction in staff overheads, reducing employee working hours and addressing operating costs to preserve cash and manage working capital. In line with government guidance, we have facilitated appropriate home working and other protective measures. We have furloughed most of our employees and significantly reduced the operating capacity of our manufacturing facilities in line with the anticipated reduction in demand. We will serve existing demand and, where it makes business sense, respond to enquiries and manage important on-going projects. The Group management team continues to maintain contact with all customers to ensure that Autins is prepared to meet, as adequately as possible, expected changes in demand.
The health and safety of all our employees will remain of paramount importance.
We are encouraged by the financial measures recently announced by the UK Government and will actively pursue all avenues in order to support and protect the Group and our employees. We have already engaged with our principal bank and applied for CBILS funding. We would expect the outcome of that application within the coming weeks.
We are also applying for similar government support schemes for our businesses in Germany and Sweden.
Whilst we have taken all immediately available mitigating actions, the Board is also mindful that further initiatives may be necessary to respond to the current open-ended nature of the crisis.
The impact of the COVID-19 virus is unprecedented and it is difficult for the Board to assess accurately the impact on the Group's trading and financial performance at this time but would expect a material reduction to the Group's financial performance and outturn for FY2020.
Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, the Board remains confident in the strength of Autins' product offerings and believes the steps taken over the past 18 months to deliver operational improvement and sales growth, coupled with new market development, mean that the Group is better placed to withstand this anticipated temporary reduction in demand and return to profitable growth.
The Company expects to announce its interim results in June 2020, at which time a further update will be provided.
Autins Group plc
Adam Attwood, Non-Executive Chairman
Gareth Kaminski-Cook, Chief Executive
Kamran Munir, Chief Financial Officer
(Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Mark Taylor / Lauren Kettle (Corporate Finance)
Tel: 020 7496 3000
Tel: 020 7653 9850
Autins specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of acoustic and thermal insulation solutions primarily in the automotive sector but with an increasing focus on other sectors, including flooring, building and wider industrial applications.
The Group is one of the leading suppliers of noise and heat management products in the automotive market, producing and supplying over two million parts per month to customers including some of the world's leading vehicle manufacturers.
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