Live Company makes some serious savings as events restart
Live Company Group said it had made “significant” cost saving initiatives during the second quarter on Tuesday, identifying total savings of £2.1m of overheads and other operating costs against its original budget for the year.
The AIM-traded firm said it had made further use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough 61 out of its 77 staff, with different staff being furloughed in different groups at different times up to the end of June.
It also extended its temporary 50% pay cut for staff earning above the £2,500 furlough scheme cut-off until the end of June.
That included all senior management and directors, with the decrease in pay being made up with the issue of shares.
Some part-time staff were being paid exclusively in shares, Live Company said.
It said it was also necessary to make 29 redundancies across the group, representing an annual saving of £0.7m net of costs.
Operationally, the firm said ‘Bricklive Animal Paradise’ was now open at John Ball Zoo, in Michigan, while ‘Bricklive Supersized’ was now open at Marwell Zoo, with ‘Bricklive Ocean’ opening at Bristol Zoo Gardens “soon”.
Banham Zoo, with the company’s ‘Bricklive Big Cats’ experience, was due to open at the end of July.
New contracts had been agreed for ‘Bricklive Ocean’ at the Da Vinci Science Centre in Pennsylvania, and for ‘Paw Patrol’ at the Odysseum in Köln, Germany.
Live Company also noted that £1m of net working capital was raised from loans and equity during the quarter.
“The second quarter has been an extremely challenging quarter for all companies that have been involved in the sector with a global shutdown of all events, zoos and exhibition centres,” said chairman David Ciclitira.
“The board and the executive team used this time to review our business model, reduce costs and I believe we have emerged stronger and leaner with a core team of highly motivated individuals who are absolutely committed to take advantage of the green shoots emerging globally as we come out of lockdown.
“Over recent weeks the conversations with existing and new clients and partners have been extremely positive and I look forward to updating shareholders in due course.”
At 1322 BST, shares in Live Company Group were down 3.47% at 9.75p.