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Wilmington PLC (WIL)

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Monday 09 March, 2020

Wilmington PLC

Update on COVID-19 Coronavirus

RNS Number : 3583F
Wilmington PLC
09 March 2020
 

9 March 2020

Wilmington plc

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

Update on COVID-19 Coronavirus

 

Wilmington plc, the provider of data, information, education and networking services in Risk & Compliance, Healthcare and Professional knowledge areas, today announces an update on the potential impact of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") with a particular focus on the Group's US events. Currently there is not expected to be a material impact on profit for the year to 30 June 2020 and no impact on the following financial year. However, the situation is fluid and subject to change.

 

The Group is closely monitoring the developing situation with regard to Coronavirus and the advice from the World Health Organisation and other relevant agencies. The health and safety of our employees, customers and partners remains the priority consideration for the Group. The Group is also mindful of the need to deliver quality events for both delegates and sponsors to maintain the long term reputation of its events businesses through this challenging period. Over the last week, in response to the Coronavirus, a significant number of US companies have placed travel restrictions on their staff. This appears to be having a disproportionate impact on larger events, and involves not only delegates but also sponsors and speakers. 

 

The Group operates a multitude of face-to-face training courses, workshops, seminars, awards events and conferences, and many of these are held in the US. The period from March to June is particularly busy in the US with a significant volume of events planned to run.  These include the Group's flagship RISE Nashville event which was due to run from 15th to 17th March 2020 and the Compliance Week Annual Conference which runs in mid May in Washington DC.  In addition to these two major events there are a number of other relatively smaller US based events in the Healthcare, Legal and Compliance areas. In total these US events are expected to deliver around £8m of revenue in the remainder of this financial year, with £5m of that due to be delivered in March. 

 

In response to the situation the Group has taken the following decisions regarding US events:

· RISE Nashville, previously planned for 15th to 17th March 2020 has been deferred, along with its sister event, Social Determinants of Health which was due to run at the same time in an adjacent facility. 

· These two events will now take place at the end of June 2020. 

· The Group expects to incur some additional costs from the change in date, but these are expected to be partly offset by incremental revenue which was running ahead of expectation prior to the Coronavirus impact.

· The deferral of these events is overall expected to have a £0.5m adverse profit impact on the Group's financial results for the year to 30 June 2020. 

· Based on current information, our other US events scheduled for the rest of the financial year are not seeing the same level of challenge as RISE.  Generally, these are smaller events with lower attendance levels and currently most organisations are allowing staff to travel to these types of events. Accordingly, all other US events scheduled by the Group are currently still planned to go ahead.  However, we are monitoring the situation very closely and will act as circumstances dictate. 

 

Outside of the US, the Group is currently seeing limited disruption to events and face to face training as follows:

· Relatively small events in Hong Kong, Dubai and Madrid have been postponed, but again these are expected to be rescheduled to run before the financial year end. 

· Insurance Week, the Group's major event in Madrid, ran successfully two weeks ago with strong delegate and sponsorship attendance.

 

Inevitably the turmoil being caused by Coronavirus will have some negative impact both in and outside of the US on delegate and sponsor revenues and on costs for the rest of the year, other than the £0.5m impact detailed above.  However, based on current observed effects, as explained above, these are not expected to have a material adverse impact on profit for the year to 30 June 2020 and no impact on the following year.  Clearly if travel bans are imposed in other parts of the world or are extended beyond the end of April then that could result in a more material impact.

 

Following the investments made over the last few years in upgrading our IT infrastructure, the Group is well placed to deal with potential disruption to our own office access. We have tested remote working provisions across the Group and are confident that we could operate without significant disruption in the event of current predicted containment scenarios. 

 

The Group is working proactively to anticipate, assess and mitigate the challenges that the Coronavirus situation presents.  The Board would like to thank its employees for the exceptional efforts they are making in these difficult times.  It remains confident that the actions being taken will protect employees, customers and partners, whilst maintaining the quality and long term value of the events and activities undertaken and hence the interests of shareholders.

 

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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