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Judges ScientificPLC - AGM Update

RNS Number : 4081N
Judges Scientific PLC
20 May 2020
 

Judges Scientific plc

("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

AGM Update

Judges Scientific, the group focused on acquiring and developing companies in the scientific instrument sector, today provides the following update ahead of its AGM which is being held in St John's Wood, London today at 12.00 noon.

Update on Trading

Across the Group, organic order intake as of 15 May was down 18.5% compared to the same period in 2019, caused by the closure of universities, the cancellation of scientific conferences and our inability to travel. This reduction in order intake has not been evenly spread across our key geographies with China/Hong Kong and the UK each decreasing 4%, North America experiencing a reduction of 25%, the Rest of the World reducing by 22%, whilst Rest of Europe decreased 11%. However, the order book is still comfortable and as at 30 April 2020 stood at 11.9 weeks.

While the prohibition on travel has interfered with our ability to crystallise orders and perform installations, the crisis has also stimulated our businesses to make better use of online alternatives and has given some engineering teams additional time to progress their R&D projects uninterrupted.

The Group has operated profitably in each of the first four months of this year and has generated positive operating cash-flow for the period. As a result, the Group has maintained a robust balance sheet with solid liquidity.

Operational Update

Throughout these unprecedented times, the main priority for the Group has been to protect the safety of our colleagues. Whilst approximately half of our staff are working from home, thanks to the Group's decentralised structure, our businesses have been able to put in place highly tailored and specific logistical solutions to allow manufacturing to continue throughout the crisis, whilst continuing to adhere to the UK government's rules and guidelines around social distancing and hygiene.

Despite the challenges faced, the Group has only suffered minor supply chain issues, all of which have been mitigated and managed accordingly. As noted above customer closures have resulted in a minority of deliveries being postponed.

Management actions taken to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

The Board of Judges believe that it is important to take prudent steps to ensure the business remains well placed to deliver shareholder value. These include:

·    In parallel with its staff all Judges directors (including non-executives) reduced their fixed remuneration in proportion to the reduction suffered by the other employees;

·    Approximately 20% of our workforce have been furloughed; and

·    Lloyds Bank has agreed to repurpose £5 million of our acquisition line into a working capital facility to further buttress our position.

Outlook

The Board continues to believe that the Group is in a robust position to weather the impact of the pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis has created significant and open-ended global uncertainty, with an associated impact on economic activity. It remains to be seen where and when demand, deliveries and installations will return to normal levels as each jurisdiction in which the Group operates is working independently according to that country's needs. The Board will provide a further update to its trading, in the ordinary course, in its July trading update covering the period to 30 June 2020.

 

For further information please contact:

Judges Scientific

 

 

David Cicurel, CEO

Brad Ormsby, Group FD

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3829 6970

 

 

Shore Capital (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

 

Stephane Auton

Edward Mansfield

Sarah Mather

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7408 4090

 

 

Liberum (Joint Broker)

 

Bidhi Bhoma

Euan Brown


 

 

 

Tel:  +44 (0) 20 3100 2222

 

Media enquiries:

Alma PR (Financial Public Relations)

 

Rebecca Sanders-Hewett

Sam Modlin

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3865 4219

[email protected]

 

Notes to editors:

Judges Scientific plc (AIM: JDG), is a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses.  The Group consists of 17 businesses acquired since it was re-admitted to AIM in 2005.

The acquired companies are primarily UK-based with products sold worldwide to a diverse range of markets including: higher education institutions, the scientific communities, manufacturers and regulatory authorities.  The UK is a recognised centre of excellence for scientific instruments.  The Group companies hold five Queen's Awards for innovation and export. 

The Group's companies predominantly operate in global niche markets, with long term growth fundamentals and resilient margins.

Judges Scientific maintains a policy of selectively acquiring businesses that generate sustainable profits and cash.  Shareholder returns are created through the repayment of debt, organic growth and dividends. 

For further information, please visit www.judges.uk.com

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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