Covid-19 hits UK injection moulder's property sales drive / Investments in new production lines
UK stock market-listed packaging group Robinson (Kirkby-in-Ashfield; said efforts to sell off surplus properties worth more than GBP 10m (EUR 11m) had been further delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

At its annual general meeting held last month the injection moulder said progress to dispose of two property development sites in Chesterfield / UK was ongoing, but site inspections had been delayed due to the lockdown imposed by the government, while volatility in the UK housing sector had also hampered its efforts. Robinson said it would need to add a further six months to the sales process. It has been trying to sell the sites for more than two years. The group has a net debt of around GBP 7m.

Robinson – with new chief executive Helene Roberts taking up her post in November last year – earlier suspended its final dividend payment to shareholders “in order to conserve cash” but told investors it had ploughed GBP 1.5m into new manufacturing equipment, while it had kept production going throughout the crisis, despite the pandemic’s challenges. The investment includes new extrusion blow moulding and injection stretch blow moulding lines as well as capability to offer recycled material content (rPET and rHDPE) to customers.

Regarding security of supply, the company has additional contingency and stock build arrangements in place for Covid-19 as well as preparations in the case of a no-deal Brexit for Q4 2020. “End consumer demand for the products for which we supply packaging has resulted in some ups and downs with a net positive effect on sales. We have successfully managed to keep our manufacturing operations safely running through the dedicated efforts of our employees,” it said. Around 95% of Robinson’s sales come from the household, personal care and food and drink sectors, with 55% of turnover in the UK and 45% in Poland.

In March this year the group reported sales for 2019 of GBP 35m, up 7%, while pre-tax profit more than doubled to GBP 1.5m. It also reinstated a dividend to be paid on 30 July 2020 to shareholders.

Robinson’s plastics division has four manufacturing sites in Europe – two in the UK, in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Stanton Hill, and two in Poland, in Łódź as well as Madrox in Warsaw, which it acquired in 2014 (see of 21.02.2014).
20.07.2020 [245550-0]
Published on 20.07.2020

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