StockMarketWire.com - Health, safety and environmental technology group Halma maintained its guidance on profit, but said full-year results would likely have a 'significant' second-half weighting, owing to the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said it continued to expect its adjusted pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 March 2020 to be in a range of £265m to £270m, in line with the guidance given in its trading update on 19 March 2020. Revenues were expected to be approximately £1,330m and year-end net debt to be approximately £320m. Currently, following the re-opening of our fire safety business in Italy last week, there are only two facilities, in California and Tunisia, that are closed due to government shutdown restrictions. However, all our businesses are having to address their specific supply chain and distribution challenges that are being caused by the pandemic, as well as responding to the similar challenges faced by their customers.

Against the backdrop of widely expected economic downturn, the company said it had sought to mitigate potential impacts by reducing costs, which were forecast to result in a cost reduction of over £20m in the first quarter of the new financial year, compared to the previous fourth quarter's run-rate. Measures to cut cost included a widespread hiring freeze, a reduction in the use of contractors and a significant reduction in discretionary overhead spending.

'The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a net adverse impact on our markets and our full year financial results to 31 March 2021, which are likely to have a significant second half weighting even though the timing and profile of recovery remains uncertain at this stage,' Halma said.

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