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Wilmington PLC (WIL)

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Wednesday 25 March, 2020

Wilmington PLC

Update on COVID-19 Coronavirus Impact and Dividend

RNS Number : 4671H
Wilmington PLC
25 March 2020

25 March 2020

Wilmington plc

('Wilmington', 'the Group' or 'the Company')

Update on COVID-19 Coronavirus Impact and Dividend


Wilmington plc, the provider of data, information, education and networking events in Risk & Compliance, Healthcare and Professional knowledge areas, today announces a further update on the potential impact of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus").


The Group continues to closely monitor the developing situation regarding Coronavirus and the advice and directives from governments, the World Health Organisation and other relevant agencies. The health and safety of our employees, customers and partners remains the Group's main priority. 


Operational Update


All parts of the Group are working remotely, with full operational capabilities currently being maintained through the investments in IT infrastructure and digital solutions that the Group has made over the last few years.  Whilst the internal response has been swift and a testament to the professionalism of our employees, there is no doubt that the external impacts on parts of our business are now material. The recent restrictions placed on the congregation and movement of individuals by governments in Europe and the US are, by their nature, having an impact on the Group's ability to run conferences, events and face-to-face training courses.


Networking events - which typically account for c.15% of annual Group revenues

Currently the Group has suspended all face-to-face conferences and events until further notice.  We are not planning to run any face-to-face events prior to 1 July, other than a handful of events such as RISE Nashville that were originally due to run in March and where delegates and sponsors are already signed up.  These are currently scheduled to run in late June.  We will review the feasibility of these current plans as the situation develops.


Where possible we are converting elements of postponed events to run in an online format.  There has been demand for such developments in a number of our communities and we are actively seeking to support them at this time.   


Education and training - which typically accounts for c.40% of annual Group revenues

The Group has currently suspended all face-to-face training in Europe, the US and Asia until further notice.  The Group has made significant progress over the last few years enhancing its capability to deliver a variety of digital learning solutions.  Prior to the outbreak of Coronavirus around a third of Group training was delivered digitally, often as part of a blended solution.  Demand for this has increased notably over recent weeks, and the Group is meeting this demand with a range of novel and innovative solutions. 


Information and Data - which typically accounts for c.45% of annual Group revenues

We are seeing no material impact on demand for data and information products.  65% of data and information products are sold via subscription, typically on an annual basis.


In total, the Group currently believes that between £12m and £17m of previously anticipated revenue for this financial year is at risk.  The range is primarily dependent on whether the June events run and the extent to which face-to-face events and training can be converted to digital variants.  Direct and other cost mitigations, totalling between £5.5m and £7m, are similarly anticipated.  These adjustments would result in an expected adjusted PBT for the year ended 30 June 2020 of between £8.5m and £12m.  Timescales for recovery and overall impacts are impossible to predict currently, and the Group is therefore suspending all other formal guidance at this time.


Net debt and dividend


The Board is taking steps at this stage to review cash commitments, including reviewing all discretionary operating and capital expenditure.  In light of these exceptional circumstances, the Board has taken the difficult decision to cancel the interim dividend of 4.2p that was due to be paid on 9 April 2020.  The cash saving of this decision will be £3.6m.   The Board remains committed to a resumption of dividends as soon as the trading environment normalises. 


The Group has significant current liquidity, with £10m of cash and undrawn bank facilities of £16m.  Our cashflow modelling, including scenarios which assume no face-to-face events or training from now until the end of August, indicates that the Group would remain within facility limits. The Board is mindful that events out of the control of the Company continue to evolve at pace.  It is monitoring the balance sheet carefully and has had proactive and constructive dialogue with its banks regarding covenant headroom and facility limits. We will update shareholders accordingly.  



The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.



For further information, please contact:


Wilmington plc 

Mark Milner, Chief Executive Officer

Richard Amos, Chief Financial Officer


FTI Consulting

Charles Palmer / Dwight Burden / Emma Hall / Leah Dudley



020 7490 0049




020 3727 1000


Notes to Editors

Wilmington plc is the recognised knowledge leader and partner of choice for information, education and networking in Risk & Compliance, Healthcare and Professional areas. Wilmington employs close to 1,000 people and sells to around 120 countries. Wilmington is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.



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