Youngs CEO says no staff will lose jobs

Young's has today provided a further update in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Recognising that Young's would be nothing without its people, the Board has agreed that the group will, on top of the monies received from the Government, fund the wages of all its furloughed workers whose annual salary was more than £30k, so that they will continue to receive 80% of their normal pay.

These arrangements apply for April, are designed to protect jobs for the longer term and will be reviewed again as necessary before the end of next month.

The company has in place £235m of committed facilities from its banks and private placement lenders.

Young's is continuing to take other appropriate measures to help reduce costs so as to conserve cash, optimise working capital and protect the company's financial position.

That, alongside not paying a final dividend for the year ended 30 March 2020, plus a £7m VAT deferral until March 2021 and a £14.5m business rates holiday, provides the Group with further headroom to put it in a strong position to weather this crisis.

The company continues to have a very strong balance sheet supported by a predominantly freehold estate. It has one of the lowest gearing ratios in the industry at 25.7%.

In addition, Young's remains in ongoing discussions with its banks, which are collectively very supportive, and is seeking to ensure additional covenant headroom. The Board is also in the process of understanding whether it can access the Bank of England's Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility.

Taking all of this into account, the Board believes that Young's has sufficient headroom to deal with an extended period of closure.

Patrick Dardis, Chief Executive of Young's, commented, 'In a business like Young's, people are vital. We undoubtedly have some of the most fantastic, creative, entrepreneurial, hard-working and caring people in the industry.

'I'm therefore pleased that, with support from the Government, we are able to retain all of them and keep their pay at not less than 80% of what they would normally be getting. The Board has also agreed to take a 20% reduction in basic pay.

'The way in which our people have handled the closures of 'their' pubs and supported their colleagues makes me very proud. The Board, along with the others at Riverside House entrusted with the safekeeping of the business, is very much up for this challenge.

'As I said previously, this crisis will be temporary. I am therefore looking forward to all our team reuniting, opening the doors to our great pubs and welcoming back our customers once we are through this. We remain confident in our strategy for the business.'