Hyve announces an update on trading and the measures it is taking to protect the financial position of the business during the coronavirus pandemic.
H1 Trading update
As announced on 23 January 2020, the Group delivered a strong performance in Q1 of the current financial year driven by Africa Oil Week and Yugagro, which both delivered double-digit growth on a like-for-like basis, as well as a successful Chinacoat event in Shanghai, run in collaboration with our joint venture partner.
Hyve’s Q2 results have been impacted by the measures announced by national governments to combat the spread of the coronavirus, as well as actions taken by the Group to safeguard the health and safety of our employees, customers and events as outlined in its updates on 5 and 23 March 2020. Three of the Group’s top 10 events ran in the quarter, including Bett and Mining Indaba, both of which reported strong year-on-year growth. Spring Fair also took place in Q2 and despite an ongoing impact from Brexit and reduced attendance by Chinese exhibitors due to coronavirus travel restrictions, the rate of decline slowed compared to the previous year.
The Group has acted quickly to implement a postponement plan, with 33 events being moved to later this financial year, a further 12 events being postponed to FY21 and eight being cancelled. Management has had productive dialogue with most venue owners to rollover the cost to the new dates for these events and these discussions are ongoing.
Financial position and conservation of cash
To protect the Group’s financial position a number of cost-saving and working capital management initiatives have been put in place. These include a freeze on salary rises and recruitment, the removal of current year bonus plans, the postponement of capital projects and the cancellation of contractor contracts. In the UK, over a quarter of the workforce has been put on furlough leave, as part of the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Board together with Hyve’s global leadership team, have taken a temporary pay reduction of 20%.
The Board has taken the decision not to pay a dividend for the current financial year, and future dividends will be kept under review.
Management continues to be engaged in constructive dialogue with the Group’s lenders in relation to covenant headroom and facility flexibility. As an initial measure, the Group has secured a waiver of the June 2020 covenant tests under the debt facilities. This was the first covenant test date following the refinancing of the Group announced in December 2019.
As announced on 23 March 2020, the Group has access to total committed debt facilities of £250m which have been fully drawn in order to maximise flexibility in terms of short-term liquidity.
Whilst Management continues to take action and review further options to secure the Group's long-term financial position, the Board believes that the decisive actions being taken will improve the Group’s financial and operational footing and help to safeguard the Group’s customers, colleagues and communities. The Board remains confident that the Group’s strategy of focusing on market-leading events provides a strong platform to deliver growth post the current crisis.
For further information please contact:
|Hyve Group plc
|Mark Shashoua / Andrew Beach / Melissa McVeigh
||+44 (0)20 3545 9400
|Charles Palmer / Emma Hall / Chris Birt
||+44 (0)20 3727 1000