Good morning, it’s Paul here with the SCVR for Wednesday.

It’s a quiet day for news, so I should be able to wrap up today’s report by late morning.

Today's report is now finished.

Technical gremlins struck this morning, so I was weighing up whether to go back to bed, or type up the SCVR in Word, then copy/paste it into Stockopedia once it was back up again. So I did both! Anyway, we're back in business now!

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Vianet (LON:VNET)

Share price: 95.5p (up 2% today, at 13:00)
No. shares: 28.95m
Market cap: 27.6m

Trading & COVID-19 Update

Vianet Group plc (AIM: VNET), the international provider of actionable data and business insight through devices connected to its Internet of Things ("IOT") platform, today provides an update on trading and the Group's current status regarding COVID-19 ("C-19").

VNET has a 31 March 2021 year end, hence today’s update covers April – July 2020.

We are pleased to report that trading for the first four months of the financial year has been ahead of our own C-19 revised revenue and profit forecasts with a corresponding positive impact on free cash flow.

Ahead is good, but with no figures given, we don’t know how far ahead. Could be a little, could be a lot, so not a terribly useful update.

Working from home (WFH) - Interesting comments on staff working from home, which might have read-across for other companies too, possibly?

  • Very successful, but
  • Difficult for many
  • Often less productive & inspiring than working in an office

Maybe the gloss might come off working from home, as more companies recognise its limitations? Fine as a short-term emergency measure, but probably not a long-term replacement for the office, is my current feeling about WFH.

Re-opening - most customers have re-opened their pubs (now 80% trading), and beer sales are favourable versus last year. Vianet owns the Brulines beer flow monitoring business of course, which is the group cash cow.

Bars could be susceptible to possible future closures? And/or vaccines/treatment could eliminate this issue in time. Nobody knows for certain, and timings are key.

Pricing – discounts were given to all customers during lockdown, now being reduced. Re-opened pubs are being given a 30% discount until end October, when full price will resume. The 20% of closed pubs are getting a 70% discount.

Smart Machines business (vending machines) – more positive level of…

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