Good morning, it's Paul here with the SCVR for Thursday.

Estimated timings - as you might have gathered, I'm still struggling with fatigue, so can only do roughly 2 hour stints of writing, in between resting. It's currently 13:24, so I'll do another 2 hour stint, should be finished by 15:30. Today's report is now finished - sorry for unreliable timings this week.

Press reports say that a staggering 1 million people in the UK have applied for Universal Credit. I think that's likely to be the tip of the iceberg, as the policy of economic shutdown starts to bite. We're therefore heading for a severe recession. Investors have to decide whether we think this is likely to a V-shaped recession - i.e. short & sharp with a rapid recovery, or something more serious & extended. At this stage, I haven't made up my mind what is more likely. That is one of several factors which makes it so difficult to assess individual shares at the moment. I'm still leaning towards caution, and am generally holding back from buying most things on my watch list, until we have some more clarity.

Gear4Music (LON:G4M)

Share price: 170p (pre market open)
No. shares: 20.9m
Market cap: £35.5m

(at the time of writing, I hold a long position in this share)

Gear4music (Holdings) plc ("Gear4music" or "the Group"), the largest UK based online retailer of musical instruments and music equipment, announces the following trading update for the financial year ended 31 March 2020, following the announcements made on 23 January 2020 and 18 March 2020.

This company is a rare beacon of light in current grim circumstances;

As a result of the commercial and operational progress we have made during the last 12 months, we now expect profits for the financial year ended 31 March 2020 to be ahead of previous expectations.

It is pleasing to see that the company has adapted, in order to continue trading normally by the sounds of it;

Following the necessary Government restrictions put in place to tackle the spread of COVID-19, we are pleased to say we have been able to quickly reconfigure our operations to ensure that we are keeping our teams safe. This has been due to the huge effort our incredible staff have made during this very challenging time.
The health and safety of our employees and customers has been our…

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