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Senior PLC - Market Update

RNS Number : 7245K
Senior PLC
24 April 2020
 

Senior plc - Market Update

Ahead of its Annual General Meeting later today, Senior plc ("Senior" or "the Group"), an international manufacturer of high technology components and systems, principally for the worldwide aerospace, defence, land vehicle and power & energy markets, issues this market update.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The Health and Safety of our employees remains our highest priority.  We are providing best practice guidelines to all of our businesses and are following national and local government instructions and guidance in the multiple jurisdictions in which we operate.  We continue to pay special attention to those in our community who are most vulnerable and we are doing all that we can to support our employees during this unprecedented crisis.

Daily oversight of employee welfare and business continuity plans is being undertaken by senior executives, chaired by the Group Chief Executive Officer.

The actions taken have proved effective and have allowed all of our operations to remain open, other than a small number where national governments have mandated a total shutdown.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing significant disruptions to our end markets and their respective supply chains, with customer demand falling as activity levels have reduced.  As a consequence, it has been necessary to furlough significant numbers of employees in those businesses most affected by the downturn.  Where government assistance is not available to financially support furloughs, for example in South Africa, we have ensured that we continue to pay our employees.

At the same time, the Executive Directors, the Chairman and the Non-Executive Directors are reducing their salaries and fees by 20% for a three-month period and the situation will be reviewed at the end of that period.  The other members of the Executive Committee and senior leaders throughout the business are also taking a reduction in their salaries.

Until the extent and duration of the disruption is better understood, the Group continues to focus on taking actions to conserve cash to manage through the crisis, including curtailing capital expenditure, tightly managing working capital and implementing further cost cutting actions.  Around 17% of the Group's employees are currently on furlough and the restructuring activities, which commenced last year, are further adapting to the changing end market conditions.

Financial facilities

At 31 December 2019 our committed borrowing facilities were £305m with an average maturity of 4.4 years and the Group had headroom of £159m under these committed facilities.  Net Debt was £230m, including £84m of capitalised leases following the adoption of IFRS 16 which do not form part of the definition of debt under the committed facilities and do not impact the Group's lending covenants.  We have two covenants for our committed borrowing facilities which are tested at June and December: our net debt to EBITDA must not exceed 3.0x and our interest cover must be higher than 3.5x.

The Group has very supportive lenders, both banks and US private placement investors.  With our UK and US banks, we have agreed covenant relaxations in relation to the June and December 2020 testing periods to provide flexibility should this be needed.  We are concluding discussions with our four US private placement investors to agree covenant relaxations.

We have undertaken extensive scenario testing for 2020, based on a variety of end market assumptions, while taking account of appropriate cost reduction and cash preservation mitigating actions.  Against this set of assumptions, our assessment shows that the Group has sufficient liquidity under its existing committed facilities without utilising other funding sources that would be available to it.

Update on strategic review of Aerostructures business

On 9 December 2019 Senior confirmed it was reviewing strategic options for its Aerostructures business, which included a potential divestment of the Division.  Although Senior received strong interest for the business, the Group has determined that it is in the best interests of Senior and its stakeholders for the Aerostructures business to remain within the Group.

Senior support to health and care workers

Senior is a long-term term supplier of parts in numerous medical applications, for example critical parts for ventilators, and we have explored other ways in which we can support frontline medical staff.  Specifically, since March we have been providing many thousands of NHS Trust approved face visors to UK hospitals, medical practices and care homes and in April increased our manufacturing capacity to 10,000 per day in response to the overwhelming demand for this vital PPE kit.

Trading update

Trading for the three months ended 31 March 2020 was slightly ahead of our expectations coming into the year, despite the tangible impact of coronavirus during March which has continued into April.

We are continuing with the restructuring plan, which is delivering the expected benefits and we remain focused on taking further actions as appropriate to manage the business through the current crisis.

Our defence and industrial power & energy aftermarket businesses are robust which is helping to partially offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on civil aerospace, land vehicle and oil & gas markets.

While macro-economic recovery is expected over the medium-term, the pace and duration of recovery remains unknown.  Therefore, guidance for 2020 remains suspended.

Notes

This announcement contains inside information.

Further information

Bindi Foyle

Group Finance Director, Senior plc

+44 (0) 1923 714 725

Jennifer Ramsey

Director of Investor Relations, Senior plc

+44 (0) 1923 714 722

Richard Webster-Smith

Finsbury

+44 (0) 7796 708 551

About Senior

Senior is an international manufacturing group with operations in 13 countries.  It is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (symbol SNR).  Senior designs, manufactures and markets high technology components and systems for the principal original equipment producers in the worldwide aerospace, defence, land vehicle and power & energy markets.  Further information on Senior plc may be found at: www.seniorplc.com

Cautionary Statement

This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements.  Such statements are made by the Directors in good faith, based on the information available to them at the time of the announcement, and they should be treated with caution due to the inherent uncertainties underlying any such forward-looking information.


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 [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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Quick facts: Senior PLC

Price: 69.65

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £292.12 m
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