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Gloucestershire Business News

Pennant thankful for government support as some staff are put on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Pennant International have released an update on the effect the Coronavirus Crisis is having on their business and their team of staff at their Gloucestershire headquarters.

The Staverton-based listed company have revealed that staff unable to perform their duties due to the advice to stay at home have been put on the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The firm who make and supply training equipment for the military and regulated civilian sector have instigated near-total homeworking for all employees who can, in line with the advice.

They have also reported "three key risks to its trading and prospects" in a statement issued to the Stock Exchange this morning.

The statement said: "The first is the challenge of holding review events with customers.

"Such review events are held, as physical meetings, through the lifecycle of an engineering programme and frequently have milestone payments attached (paid by the customer to Pennant upon successful completion of the review).

"If the review cannot be held due to Covid-19 restrictions, cash and revenue associated with completion of the milestone may be delayed.

The second risk is the inability to gain access to customer facilities to deliver services.

"Our 'integrated logistics support' consultancy services are typically delivered at a customer's site; if we cannot access the relevant site due to Covid-19 restrictions, the ability to deliver the services is severely hampered.

"Lastly, there is the broader risk that governments and major OEMs which award contracts to Pennant are, in the shorter term at least, consumed by their own efforts to deal with Covid-19 and therefore expected contract awards are consequently delayed until the pandemic has abated.

"With the first two risks set out above, we are working closely with the applicable customers to establish solutions so that reviews and services can be held and provided via remote means.

"We are confident that workarounds will be possible (and in some cases, these are already being implemented) but the impact on the timing and amount of any affected revenues is not yet clear.

"The third, macro risk is less easy for Pennant to directly influence, but we remain in close contact with key stakeholders to ensure we are well-informed and remain well-placed for awards.

"Simultaneously, we are prioritising the safety and well-being of our employees and other stakeholders and have implemented near-total homeworking already.

"We are actively focused on cash and cost management across the business and retain undrawn facilities.

"We welcome certain UK Government initiatives to support businesses in these exceptional times, and we have already utilised the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to protect (and part-fund) the jobs of those employees who are currently unable to carry out their usual duties due to Covid-19 interruption.

"We are also investigating other potential financial options, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, with a view to securing access to further funding should it be required."

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