The 600 Group plc, which is a diversified industrial engineering company, has announced a trading update for the financial year ended 31 March 2021.
The statement said: "Despite the exceptional impact of COVID-19 on the group's businesses and world economy, the group is expected to report revenues of approximately $53 million, down over 20% on the prior year.
"Despite this reduction in revenues, the group expects to report underlying EBIT of approximately $2.5 million for the full year due to the implementation of operational cost savings and government assistance programmes.
The statement added: "The group's performance is above the board's post-pandemic expectations, and the strong increase in order activity in March improved the overall order book to approximately $14 million as at 31 March 2021, almost 70% above the prior year.
"Over the last few weeks, activity has significantly increased, with a further $4 million of orders already received so far in April. This much improved order book is particularly strong in the higher margin custom laser side of the business, providing a strong platform for the group to grow in the current financial year and benefit from operational gearing within the businesses.
"The group has pleasingly been able to largely maintain pre-pandemic employment levels, with assistance from government furlough in the UK and Australia, and forgiveness of USA Government Paycheck Protection Program loans. This should enable to the group to ramp up operations sufficiently to match the increase in order book."
Paul Dupee, Group Executive Chairman, commented: "The particularly strong order activity over the last two months, supported by a level of government assistance, has enabled the business to maintain its skilled workforce during the pandemic. This has allowed us to respond quickly to recent demand and significantly improve the size and quality of the group's orderbook, leaving the business well placed as markets improve."