600 Group reports a fall in trading due to significant disruption caused by the pandemic

Machine tool maker, The 600 Group, has reported a 29 per cent fall in half year revenues, mainly due to significant disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sunday, 20th December 2020, 7:00 am
Paul Dupee (left) and Terry Allison (right) at the opening of 600 Group's new European Technology Centre near Halifax in 2019

The Elland-based firm said the six month period to September 30 bore the brunt of the pandemic, with the group trading at a loss in May and June as all facilities were hit by local and national shutdowns. The firm's UK factory operation closed completely in May.

600 said that while revenues and orders inevitably fell, the board and local management teams responded quickly, adopting short time and home working and furloughing some staff with others accepting temporary salary reductions.

The group took advantage of government stimulus packages including loans under the US Government Paycheck ProtectionProgram (PPP) and the UK Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme (CLBILS).

Its UK and Australian businesses also received direct assistance to help maintain employment. Overheads were reduced and all non-critical capital expenditure was deferred.

Revenues fell 29 per cent to £19m and the firm made an underlying operating profit of £150,000 in the six months to September 30.

Paul Dupee, executive chairman of 600 Group, said: “The reporting period has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"However, the group responded quickly to the challenges, reducing costs and keeping our core competencies together.

The de-risking of the group, both operationally and financially, in the last year has created a platform from which we can leverage the strength of the group’s brands and grow the business into increasingly diversified niche markets worldwide both organically and by acquisition once activity levels normalise.

"Whilst short-term macro-economic uncertainty remains, I am confident that we will come out of this crisis a stronger and leaner business.”