Coronavirus - 26 November
26 November 2020
• 37m in the UK see tier increase vs pre-lockdown
• Germany extends national measures
• Greece extends lockdown
• R0 in France falls to 0.65
• Italy to launch an air corridor between Europe and the US
• Amigo Holdings – “We are preparing to return to lending, on a prudent basis, as soon as possible in 2021. Until we do so, and until we have more clarity on the financial impact of Covid-19, the Board considers it too early to issue guidance for this financial year. Our cash position remains strong, despite paying customer redress of £35.4m and reducing debt by over £130.0m in the first half. Collections remained at 83% of pre-Covid-19 levels.”
Food, Drinks & Household
• Britvic – “The performance in the At-Home channels has been robust, with increased demand for our trusted portfolio of brands in larger pack formats, and we have taken market share. The Out-of-Home channels continue to be impacted by trading restrictions and social distancing measures reducing capacity, and people continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future.”
• CVS Group – “Current trading ahead of that in the prior year. Encouragingly, during the current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, all our practices have remained open and are offering the majority of services to clients.”
• Clinigen – “Clinical Services and Commercial Medicines have continued to recover in line with the trends we were seeing post year end, with the effects of Covid-19 more evident within the Unlicensed Medicines division as hospital demand continues to be subdued.”
• Disney – “Disney says it will cut 32,000 jobs in 2021, mostly affecting staff at its US theme parks, an increase from the 28,000 it announced in September.”
• Fuller, Smith & Turner – “All pubs temporarily closed due to second national lockdown from 5 November 2020 – with swift management action taken to achieve minimal stock losses. 98% of team members on furlough or flexi-furlough. Like for likes sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels for the 34 weeks to 21 November 2020 at 69% of prior year.”
• Mitchells & Butlers – “The future will remain both challenging and highly uncertain with the duration and depth of the trading restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector in response to the Covid-19 pandemic being, in the first instance, the primary determinant of our financial performance. We will continue to manage the business on an efficient and prudent basis, limiting the outflow of resources when we are closed and taking advantage of the ability to reopen our sites and trade as and when that occurs. Given this uncertainty, we continue to be unable to provide detailed guidance on expected forward financial performance, other than to say that we believe we are well placed to recover quickly, once restrictions are lifted.
As at 25 November the Group had cash balances on hand of £125m in addition to access to committed undrawn unsecured facilities of £100m, giving a total liquidity of £225m. During the current period of shutdown action has again been taken to limit costs such that the ongoing monthly cash burn is approximately £35m to £40m before payment of debt service costs (representing interest and amortisation) of £50m per quarter.”
• Mulberry Group– “The sales trends experienced in Q2 continued into October, with improving stores sales, a strong digital performance and continuing growth in Asia.
However, our stores in England are currently closed following the commencement of a second national lockdown on 5 November 2020, which is expected to run until 2 December 2020. As with the initial lockdown period, the negative impact on store sales is being mitigated to an extent by the strength of our omni-channel business and growth in our Asia markets. Group sales in the 8 weeks to 21 November 2020 were down 19% relative to the same period last year.”
• Germany is seeking an agreement with EU countries to keep ski resorts closed until early January.
• The rate of positive Covid cases in England “has shown signs of levelling”, according to new data from the ONS. The estimates show one in 85 people in England had coronavirus in the week of 15-21 November, compared with one in 80 the week before.
• England’s new tiered regional system has been published. Only three make the lowest level of restrictions, tier one: Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.Tier 3 includes Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Kent.
The new coronavirus tier restrictions mean 55m people will be banned from mixing with other households indoors. The decision about which tier to place an area in is based on:
• Total number of Covid cases in an area.
• The number of cases in the over 60s.
• The rate at which cases are rising or falling.
• The proportion of test results coming back positive.
• Pressure on the NHS.
The tiers will be reviewed every 14 days, starting 16 December.
• French winter sports resorts are free to open for the Christmas holiday season, the prime minister, Jean Castex, said on Thursday, but ski lifts will remain shut.
• Greece will extend its nationwide lockdown until 7 December.
• The R rate in France has fallen to 0.65, as health minister, Olivier Véran, said the country is on course to continue lifting restrictions.
• Bars and restaurants in Tokyo are asked to close early for the next three weeks.
• Italy is to launch the first “Covid-free” air corridor between Europe and the US for passengers who test negative for coronavirus, removing the need to quarantine on arrival. Rome’s Fiumicino airport announced today that it had reached an agreement with Italy's Alitalia airline and Delta Air Lines in the US for flights between some North American cities and Rome from December. Under the agreement, passengers will receive Covid-19 tests 48 hours before departure in the US, and then again on arrival in Rome. If results are negative, they will avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed on arrivals in Italy.
• In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of the 16 federal states on Wednesday night to extend and tighten national measures against coronavirus until at least 20 December but ease rules over the Christmas holidays to let families and friends celebrate together.
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