600 Group continues to use Government stimulus packages

THE 600 Group today said it had continued to take advantage of Government stimulus packages to help it cope with the pandemic.

600 Group has provided a trading update for the stock market
600 Group has provided a trading update for the stock market

The 600 Group, which is a diversified industrial engineering company, said its UK Machine Tool business, Colchester Machine Tools Solutions, has secured a £1.2m ($1.6m) new term loan with a three-year bullet repayment under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) through HSBC.

The loan will help provide headroom in funding the business through the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In a trading update, the company said: "As reported in the trading update on May 5 2020 the international response to COVID-19, including government restrictions on working and movement, have impacted the company across all operating regions.

"Whilst there continues to be reduced activity, the level of order backlog has returned to acceptable levels, given the circumstances, and is now 15 per cent down against the previous period last year.

"All sites are operational and the continued health and wellbeing of the group's employees remains a key priority with operating procedures modified, PPE usage increased and building changes made to adapt to working safely."

"The group continues to take advantage of government stimulus packages, including loans under the USA Government Paycheck Protection Program and the new UK loan announced today.

"The board has taken action to reduce overheads and deferred all non-critical capital expenditure. Short time working and furloughing of staff has continued along with salary reduction schemes for many employees across the group."

Following consultation with its auditors, the company has concluded that due to delays to audit fieldwork caused by the ongoing COVID-19 situation, more time is required to publish the annual accounts.

However, the company will publish and file the 2020 financial statements as soon as possible and no later than 31 December 2020.

The statement added: "Given the continued uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19 the board are still unable to provide any guidance for the current financial year ended 31 March 2021 until greater clarity in trading activity becomes apparent."

Paul Dupee, the company's executive chairman, stated "These are unprecedented times.

"We have taken decisive action to ensure our workforce and technical competencies remain intact through this period of uncertainty so that the group can react quickly as markets improve."

John Cummins, an analyst at WHIreland Research said: "Whilst the coming months will continue to present challenges, we believe the business remains well positioned in its respective markets as trading conditions return to a more normalised condition. At this stage, and reflecting the present uncertainty, we leave our forecasts under review for the time being."