Inspired Energy sees order book increasing despite coronavirus pandemic


Inspired Energy sees order book increasing despite coronavirus pandemic

Inspired Energy PLC (LON:INSE) chairman Michael Fletcher will tell Tuesday’s annual general meeting that the group’s order book increased to £61.1mln as of May 31, 2020, up from £60.1mln the month before.

In a statement to be delivered to the meeting, which investors are encouraged not to attend in person in respect of social distancing rules, the AIM-listed firm’s chairman said it was largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic until very late in March and the business delivered a strong performance in the first quarter, with trading in line with expectations at the time and ahead of the same period last year.

READ: Inspired Energy well-positioned for post-coronavirus recovery in activity levels

The energy consultant’s chairman noted that while operational disruption has been more evident since the end of the first quarter, the group remained strongly cash generative and delivered profits ahead of management’s prudent downside scenario, which it utilised when resetting its banking covenants in May.

Fletcher said the group’s balance sheet remains strong, having recently refinanced its banking facilities to October 2023, with an option to extend to October 2024.

Meanwhile, cash and cash equivalents were £11.5mln as of Monday, June 29, 2020, up from £11.7mln as of April 30, while £14mln of the group’s £60mln Revolving Credit Facility is undrawn with an additional £25mln accordion option available, the chairman added.

“The board has been encouraged by the performance of the Group during this very challenging period and believes it is well-positioned to respond effectively as activity levels continue to recover,” Fletcher said.

“Inspired Energy continues to be a leading player in its markets, the evolution of which may well be accelerated by opportunities presented by the current environment. The board believes that there will continue to be significant scope to progress its successful acquisition strategy moving forward and will look to act decisively where value-enhancing opportunities are presented.”

“The medium-term outlook remains positive, underpinned by market fragmentation, growing barriers to entry and the scale advantage from the market leading positions,” analysts at house broker Peel Hunt commented.

–Adds analyst comment–

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