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

Estimated timings - I'm a bit more with it today, so should be able to meet the 1pm official finish time. Today's report is now finished. My apologies for the unreliable timings this week.

Looks like we're in for another rocky day, with futures down heavily overnight. My view (subject to change on a daily basis) remains that I'm sceptical about the strong recent rally. As company updates are making clear on a daily basis, many (most?) shares are currently impossible to value, because we don't have any earnings visibility. For that reason I cannot see any reason to buy the market generally at the moment. Individual shares can make more sense, if companies have recurring revenues & strong balance sheets. But in other cases, why take the risk?


Norcros (LON:NXR)

Share price: 125p (pre-market open)
No. shares: 80.6m
Market cap: £100.8m

Trading update

In light of the rapidly changing developments regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) since our last announcement on 20 February 2020, Norcros, a market leading supplier of high quality and innovative bathroom and kitchen products is today providing a further update on the potential impact on its performance for the year to 31 March 20201 and the measures it is taking to manage the associated risks.

Trading has slowed down in March 2020, meaning that it will now miss the full year numbers.

China supply chain now operating at "close to normal" levels.

Demand shortfall is now the bigger issue.

South Africa - trading has ceased due to Govt edict. 26 March to 16 April.

UK - customer closures mean trading is "now minimal". Norcros has therefore suspended its main UK assembly & manufacturing operations.

Guidance for FY 03/2020 is reduced, but bear in mind coronavirus only impacted the last few weeks of this period, so it's not terribly relevant;

We now expect our underlying operating profit2 for the year to 31 March 20201 to be approximately £31m compared to the previous consensus forecast of £35m. All of this reduction is attributable to the COVID-19 situation, is considered both temporary and exceptional, and follows a period of robust trading including market share gains.

This is probably the most important part of the announcement, saying that (relying on bank facilities) it can withstand an extended shutdown;

The Group has access to a…

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