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DJ Thwaites (Daniel) Plc Statement re Coronavirus update

 
TIDMTHW 
 
Daniel Thwaites PLC 
 
                                Covid-19 update 
 
Impact 
 
The Company closed all its pubs, inns and hotels on 20 March 2020 following the 
directive from the UK government. 
 
The Company then quickly took all possible steps to secure the business, 
protect cash flow and take advantage of the support measures put in place by 
the government, these include: 
 
  * Over 90% of the workforce are on furlough leave; 
 
  * Only allowing staff in key roles and those securing our properties to work 
    - which means that the business is operating and being safeguarded by a 
    skeleton team; 
 
  * The Board and Executive team all taking pay cuts of up to 30%; 
 
  * Taking advantage of business rate exemptions across its retail properties, 
    which are available for the 2020/21 business rate period; 
 
  * Assisting pub tenants to claim grants across all the tenanted pub estate 
    which will assist the tenanted pubs to survive and come through this 
    crisis; 
 
  * Claiming pub grants directly where they are available for the pubs that it 
    operates on a managed basis; 
 
  * Negotiating either suspension of contracts with suppliers, or reduced costs 
    during the period of disruption; 
 
  * Agreeing payment deferrals with HMRC for VAT and PAYE; 
 
  * Temporarily pausing deficit contributions to its defined benefit pension 
    funds; and 
 
  * Putting all non-essential capital expenditure on hold for the foreseeable 
    future. 
 
The Company renewed its banking facilities in Q1 2020 and at 31 March 2020 had 
net debt of GBP65.4m with total facilities of GBP82m, giving headroom of over GBP16m. 
The Company is monitoring cash flow very closely and is also giving 
consideration to whether it is necessary to take advantage of one of the 
Government backed loan schemes as a prudent measure to ensure that it has 
sufficient facilities to get through the recovery period and return to normal 
trading levels. 
 
Dividend 
 
The preservation of cash is an absolute priority, as a result the Company has 
taken the decision that it will not pay a final dividend for the year ending 31 
March 2020. Future dividends will be reviewed when normal trading levels 
resume. 
 
Annual Report and Annual General Meeting 
 
The Company has been granted a three-month extension to the normal filing 
deadline for Annual Report and Accounts by Companies House, as it is not 
possible to have the year end results audited until the working environment 
becomes normalised. This means that the approval of the Annual Report for the 
year to 31 March 2020 and Annual General Meeting will not be until the Autumn. 
 
Outlook 
 
The Company was trading very strongly prior to this crisis and we hope to 
return to that level of trading in the future once our properties are allowed 
to open by the government. It is working through its reopening plans to prepare 
for an environment where restrictions will be in place. 
 
The Company is committed to taking the difficult and necessary decisions to 
preserve the long-term future of the business and in the future once again 
flourish for the benefit of all its stakeholders. 
 
The Company benefits from the fact that it owns the freeholds of all of its 
properties and is therefore not under pressure to pay third party landlords 
rent, as others in the industry are having to do. However, it does have 
financing obligations in the form of interest payments to its funders. 
 
The Company has been through troubled times before and has a strong asset base 
and an experienced management team to assist in finding a pathway through the 
challenging times ahead. 
 
 
 
END 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 20, 2020 04:19 ET (08:19 GMT)