Chief executive Dominic Blakemore said: “Given the uncertainty in the short term outlook, a strong balance sheet will allow us to weather the crisis whilst continuing to invest in the business to enhance our competitive advantages, support our long term growth prospects and further consolidate our position as the industry leader in food services.”
The company has announced half-year results for the six months to March 31st and provided an update on the ‘profound impact’ of Covid-19 on the catering, cleaning and other facilities services company.
He said the first five months covered by the results ‘showed a continuation of the strong performance we reported last year.’
“But it goes without saying that Covid-19 has changed everything. Compass is a resilient and adaptable organisation and we have moved quickly to manage cash and costs and increase liquidity.
“We are doing all we can to protect jobs by redeploying colleagues into units that remain open and using government job retention schemes where available.”
In addition to the £2bn equity raise, other measures taken to mitigate the impact include Blakemore and his colleagues on the group board and executive committee taking a cut in fees and salaries, a reduction of capital spending, pausing merger and acquisition activity, and a recommendation of no interim or final dividend for FY 2020. It has also increased committed credit facilities from £2bn to £2.8bn.
In tribute to his workforce, Blakemore added: “We can only exist with the commitment of our colleagues around the world, many of whom have been on the front line of the battle against the pandemic.
“I am extremely proud of how the organisation has responded, and I’m humbled by the commitment and dedication our people are showing, day in day out.
“I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those colleagues that have lost their lives to COVID-19.
“Since the beginning of the crisis, keeping our colleagues safe has been our overriding focus. Colleague and consumer safety will continue to guide everything we do as we move towards reopening more units over the months ahead.”