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PENDRAGON PLC - COVID-19: Temporary Closure of Sites

COVID-19: Temporary Closure of Sites

(ISSUED 24 March 2020)

Pendragon Plc announces today that, in light of the current situation with COVID-19 and in line with the latest advice from HM Government, it will be temporarily closing all of its retail sites across the UK.

The safety of colleagues and customers remains the Group’s absolute priority.  Pendragon expects to temporarily furlough the majority of its colleagues within the UK motor and Car Store divisions during this period, with only certain key roles continuing for the time being. 

The Group is currently assessing the extent to which it can continue its repair and maintenance operations to support the UK’s essential services in the coming weeks and will endeavour to maintain these services as long as possible.

The Group has to date received measures of both financial and operational support from many of its key manufacturer partners and other suppliers and stakeholders, which, combined with the additional support announced by the UK Government such as the job retention scheme, rates holidays (c.£15m p.a. benefit) and VAT deferral periods, will help protect the long-term health of both colleagues and the business.  The Group will continue to engage with all stakeholders in order to identify opportunities to mitigate some of the challenges posed during this period.  We are continuing to implement a number of measures to preserve cash across all areas of our business, including deferring capital expenditure and reducing our variable cost base.  Bank net debt as at 23 March 2020 was £105m against a total facility size of £235m.  

In line with the update given with the Group’s FY19 results on the 18 March 2020, it remains too early to accurately quantify what the impact of COVID-19 may be on the FY20 Group results.  However, based on the rapidly evolving events over the past week, culminating in this temporary, full shut-down of our dealer network, existing financial guidance for the year ending 31 December 2020 is withdrawn until the Group has greater certainty over the both the duration and extent of the current situation.

Bill Berman, Chief Executive Officer said:

“The health and safety of our people, customers and partners remains my absolute priority.  We are taking measures to ensure we are in line with the Government requirements to temporarily suspend sales operations in our dealerships.  It is necessary for us to take these critical steps to ensure the safety of our operations while serving our stakeholders and properly positioning the business to recover fully from this unprecedented situation.”

 Enquiries
 Henry Wallers Headland 07876 562436
 Jack Gault Headland 07799 089357