, has said it has been trading in line with market expectations and intends to continue to support ‘credit-worthy customers and businesses’, to ensure they have the opportunity to resume normal trading at a future date.
However, given the uncertainty surrounding the impact COVID-19 will have on the business, the Board has deferred its decision on the amount and timing of any final dividend for the current financial year until the market situation and the effect of COVID-19 have become clearer.
Furthermore, the AIM-listed firm said it recognised that multiple borrowers are requesting payment delays as they adjust to substantially no footfall or sales revenue in their own businesses. In response, the company said it has always dealt with borrowers ‘on a case-by-case basis’ and is adhering to this principle as it handles a large volume of in-bound requests for support.
Critically for Investors, whilst 1PM has been trading in line with market expectations for the current financial year through to the end of the third quarter to 29 February 2020, the Board is already prepared for a substantial constriction of its short term cash inflows with its strong balance sheet that has ample operational liquidity, and covenant headroom, to fund the business internally until at least the end of this calendar year, and in most cases for longer. Importantly, the Company's lenders are unanimously supportive of the Group and continue to provide funding for new business.
Shares in 1PM were trading flat at 13.5p during Thursday trading.
Ian Smith, CEO of 1PM commented: “1pm is open for business, maintaining its service and actively supporting our clients and customers in these unprecedented economic conditions. We are also working hard to ensure we can distribute further support to the most needy SMEs through the Government finance initiatives recently announced.”
The group added it believes that this is currently a sector which should be addressed as part of the Government's business and bank funding initiatives to support UK SMEs in what are unprecedented times.
1pm, together with other companies in the sector, is actively lobbying through relevant industry bodies to request changes and extensions to the Government's funding initiatives in order to include the non-bank lending sector within them, enabling 1pm, and the sector as a whole, to provide additional support to UK SMEs throughout this period of economic uncertainty.
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