Applegreen has outlined a number of actions to protect profitability and conserve cash, in response to 'this unprecedented and uncertain environment,' in a COVID-19 update issued today.
The company said that despite trading strongly and being in line with management expectations for the first 10 weeks of 2020, footfall and volumes have been impacted in the last two weeks as governments and customers take increasing measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The roadside convenience retailer said that currently all of its stores remain open.
The company said that it has implemented an extensive range of measures to safeguard 'its people' and communities.
"The group's supply chain has remained fully operational and its strong customer service levels have been maintained," the company said.
Applegreen outlined that a number of cutting measures have been put in place by the company until further notice such as reducing its operating cost base.
The forecourt retailer said that it will tighten management of working capital, including stock levels.
The group said that it will implement a recruitment freeze and will also defer executive director bonuses.
"In order to preserve liquidity, the board has decided not to recommend a final dividend in relation to 2019 at its forthcoming AGM," the company said.
Looking ahead, the group said that although the current crisis presents multiple challenges, the board remains confident in the strategy over the longer term and believes it will be well positioned to benefit from the normalisation in trade.
The group said that it expects to release its preliminary 2019 results as scheduled on Friday, 27 March 2020 and 'will provide a detailed briefing on its 2019 results and current trading at this time'.
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