Victoria PLC - Trading Update
For Immediate Release
The information communicated within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
('Victoria' or the 'Group')
The Board is pleased to advise that in every geography trading has exceeded management expectations following the re-start of operations.
Following a dramatic decline in revenues in March and April due to government-mandated closure of all of our manufacturing operations (with the exception of
The Group has methodically re-opened its manufacturing and distribution operations in all geographies, to meet the current high acceleration in demand whilst ensuring that costs are not incurred unnecessarily.
Group revenues have, as a result, steadily increased and over the last three weeks were approximately 85% of management's pre-Covid-19 budget. Further recovery is expected as orders begin to flow to Victoria from
It is important to remember that much of our product is exported outside of its country of manufacture. It is very encouraging that consumers within countries which did not lock down have shown consistent demand throughout the period, and those that exited lock down first (Germany and Austria, for example, who re-opened retail two months ago) have maintained very good demand following the initial rapid increase after we restarted operations. That said, our operations across all divisions remain prepared to react quickly to any future changes in demand.
Finally, the Board would like to remind shareholders that Victoria's supply chain is highly diversified and invariably localised to the key manufacturing plants. Our access to raw materials has remained secure throughout the period and we will be able to meet demand as it arises.
Net Debt and Liquidity
Careful stewardship of Victoria's cash by the Group's finance and treasury team, together with our inherent low operational gearing, has ensured the Group has maintained a financially robust position. The Group's net debt position is currently c.
The Board is satisfied with the strength of Victoria's financial position and shareholders will recall that in
Victoria has not accessed any government credit-line schemes and does not foresee any current need to raise capital for normal operating activities.
Earnings Outlook for 2020/21
It remains premature to provide meaningful earnings guidance for FY2021, although the Board is considerably more optimistic in respect of the current financial year than at the time of the last trading update in
This is not altogether surprising, given the extended period consumers have spent in their home over the last four months, which is likely to have encouraged the impulse to redecorate.
The Board looks forward to updating shareholders further in due course
Whilst trading over the last quarter has, obviously, been affected, the long-term outlook for the Group remains positive.
Victoria is fortunate to have a highly experienced and motivated operational management team - many of whom have been successful in the industry for 30 years or more and the value of this experience is enormous. Our managers acted decisively and promptly to protect their business at the start of the lockdown period and were just as quick to restart operations as customer demand returned at the end of the lockdown. As a result, Victoria is weathering the storm in very good shape.
As we look ahead to the short to medium term, the effort we have made over recent years to build relationships with the owners of other flooring companies will give rise to some materially value-creating opportunities. The events of the last few months have given rise to new or increased imperatives with some business owners. Our financial position and reputation for straightforward dealings mean that the owners of other flooring businesses view Victoria as a reliable transaction partner and we expect to see some very interesting and attractive opportunities in the months ahead.
We have a resilient balance sheet, motivated and talented operational management, fully-developed contingency plans covering possible future scenarios, and geographic diversity of end markets and manufacturing facilities. We are, therefore, confident Victoria will continue to prosper and create wealth for shareholders.
For further information contact:
(+44 (0) 1562 749 610)
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)
(+44 (0) 20 7894 7000)
Rick Thompson, Phil Davies, Will Goode (Corporate Finance)
Berenberg (Joint Broker)
(+44 (0) 203 207 7800)
Ben Wright, Mark Whitmore, Laure Fine (Corporate Broking)
Peel Hunt (Joint Broker)
(+44 (0) 20 7418 8900)
(+44 (0) 20 7466 5000)
This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the
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