Character Group 'confident' in weathering Covid storm
Character Group updated the market on its trading for the year just ended on Thursday, reporting that the outcome for the second half had, as expected, been “considerably affected” by the UK lockdown.
The AIM-traded firm said notwithstanding that, it had worked in “close collaboration” with its customers and distributors to maintain trading at “satisfactory levels” through the six months ended 31 August.
As it predicted at the time of its interim results in May, the second half of the financial year did produce a profit, with the board saying it now expected that to be “at least equivalent” to that of the first half.
“The agile working practices that the group has developed over recent years have served it very well during the lockdowns and periods of changing government restrictions,” the board said in its statement.
“We have also noted this week the updated guidance from the prime minister and we shall take appropriate steps as and when required.”
Demand for the group's products remained resilient throughout the year, with the company “confident” that steady progress would continue to be made through to Christmas and into 2021.
“As always at this time of year, development of the group's ranges and products for the Christmas season 2021 is well advanced, and early feedback from customers to our previews and presentations have been extremely gratifying.”
Character Group said it had developed the ability to read its markets and swiftly react to the changing environment and conditions.
“We are proud that this has enabled us to maintain good working relations with our customers, distributors, and suppliers.
“Indeed, the change in our approach to customer engagement during lockdown has led to even closer collaboration and a highly effective strengthening of the bond between our teams and our customers.”
The company said it continued to have a “strong” balance sheet with a sizeable cash balance, and “substantial” unutilised working capital facilities.
“The board believes that, with the current strength of Character's product catalogue matched by the commitment and motivation to succeed of our people at all levels, the group's prospects for weathering the challenging environment remain good.”
Character Group said it would release its preliminary results for the year ended 31 August in the first week of December.
At 1438 BST, shares in Character Group were down 1.86% at 316.5p.