Epwin Group have published their AGM trading update today, which as you would expect centres around COVID-19, reopening and withdrawal of future guidance.

This is the statement in full:

Epwin Group Plc (AIM: EPWN) (“Epwin” or the “Group”), the leading manufacturer of low maintenance building products, supplying the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (“RMI”), new build and social housing sectors will make the following statement in respect of current trading at today’s Annual General Meeting.

“Since our announcement on 28 May 2020, the Group has continued to return its manufacturing and distribution sites to operation. All sites are now operational to some degree as we ramp up activity cautiously to meet demand levels.  Market demand is returning, albeit at significantly lower levels than before the COVID-19 pandemic and that which would usually be expected at this time of the year. 

The Group’s balance sheet remains strong.  Available cash and facility headroom as at 16 June 2020 remains at c.£45 million, unchanged from the level as at 31 March 2020 reported in the Group’s final results announcement of 23 April 2020.

The Group’s banking facilities, which were increased last year, total £75 million. The Board has not sought to increase these bank facilities further nor access other sources of funding, as it believes its available headroom provides sufficient liquidity based on current analysis and the support of its various stakeholders. 

As previously stated, the impact of COVID-19 will inevitably have a material impact on trading for the current year and it is still too soon to quantify this at this stage. Therefore, in line with other businesses in the sector, all market guidance and forecasts remain withdrawn. 

The medium-term drivers for the RMI market remain positive, with an ageing and underinvested housing stock, as well as environmental and safety concerns driving legislation and initiatives that will require improvements to homes on a larger scale than just essential maintenance. The new build housing sector is anticipated to grow, driven by underlying demand and government incentives. Social new build is also expected to see growth.

The Board will update shareholders further in our half year trading update.”

You can view the original article here.

This the second systems company today to state that demand is lower than pre-COVID levels and that there will be material impact on trading this year. This follows Travis Perkins announcing 2500 job losses and 165 branch closures yesterday. Social media is loud with companies stating how busy they are. But with a second major company warning of lower levels of demand, along with major recognised brands falling into recession, with the potential for more to come, you perhaps have to question whether demand is being affected on a regional basis, or if there is perhaps a drop off in early high business activity beginning to take hold.

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