- Enterprise software company Micro Focus International swung to a deep first-half loss after its sales fell and it recorded a large writedown linked to economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through April amounted to $1.03bn, compared to a profit of $1.40bn on-year.

Revenue from continuing operations dropped 12% to $1.45bn as the pandemic prompted delays in buying behaviours with customers in April.

Micro Focus International recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $922.2m, which it said was attributable to 'the increased economic uncertainty as a result of Covid-19'.

The disease crisis, it said, had led to an increase in the pre-tax discount rate and expected disruption to new sales activity and timing pressure on renewals.

The company did not declared an interim dividend, as expected.

It said it had cash and cash equivalents of $808.1m as at 30 April, which reflected $633.1m of operating cash and $175.0m of revolving credit facility drawn as a precautionary measure.

The company's available liquidity totaled $1.1bn.

'Micro Focus' business continuity plans have been highly effective and we continue to adapt our working practices to continue supporting our customers and partners,' chief executive Stephen Murdoch said.

'Our performance during the period has been consistent with our guidance and the successful refinancing of our debt despite the challenging market conditions demonstrates confidence in the underlying strengths of our model.'

'Going forward, we see significant opportunities to improve our business and we will continue to progress initiatives to strengthen and simplify our business operations, and stand ready to take further actions if required in these uncertain times.'

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