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Gloucestershire Business News

Mears Group to commit staff to the government's call for coronavirus volunteers

The Mears Group look set to join the call to arms made by the government and supply volunteers to the ongoing efforts to battle coronavirus.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange this morning on the impacts of Covid-19 on business, the Gloucester-based company said that it expects some disruption to its normal business over the coming months.

The statement said: "Mears provides vital front-line services, in many cases to vulnerable people.

"The Group's primary focus at the current time is to ensure continuity of service as far as possible, with the well-being of our customers and the health and safety of our staff of utmost importance.

"Working practices are evolving so as to minimise the spread of the virus.

"The Group recognises that it can play a significant role in supporting the national effort in navigating through the emerging situation.

"Mears is proud of doing the right thing in communities and, where the workforce is not engaged in essential maintenance, they may be available to provide other services to local communities."

The statement added that part of Mears' housing activities are regarded by central government as "essential services" and that some of the emergency maintenance services will continue to be delivered.

That means around 30 per cent of the company's operations will be unaffected, but other "lower priority" work may have to take a back seat.

The statement added: "These services are largely non-discretionary and in normal circumstance provide a consistent and highly visible revenue stream.

"However in the current climate, local authorities may choose to defer these works at least for the period of the emergency and Mears expects to see a reduction in these activities in the short term.

"The Company expects these activities to recover when conditions return to normality.

"The nature and potential scale of disruption means that it is unlikely that Mears will continue to interact with its customers as usual.

"The Company considers that it is likely that the Group will experience some disruption over the coming period.

Mears' order book, and therefore its debtors, is made up of 90 per cent by public bodies and the government has made a clear commitment that invoices will be settled quickly, the statement said.

David Miles, Chief Executive Officer of the Group, said: "The rapidly evolving public health emergency created by Covid-19 will place increased demands on the Group's services, its people and its finances.

"We are taking all the necessary steps to overcome these challenges. I am confident that our staff will rise to the challenge of effective delivery in these difficult circumstances and that the Group will come through well.

"I thank all of our stakeholders for their forbearance and their support in these uniquely challenging times.

"The Group is well placed to battle through these short term challenges. Our long-term goal continues to be delivering controlled growth, improved profitability and reduced indebtedness."

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