- Engineering company 600 Group said its order book had begun to recover after lockdowns eased and that it had secured a £1.2m ($1.6m) loan backed by the UK government.

The three-year loan, made to the company's machine tool business Colchester Machine Tools Solutions, was under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme through HSBC.

It would help provide headroom in funding the business through the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, 600 Group said.

The company that while there continued to be reduced trading activity, the level of order backlog had returned to acceptable levels and was now 15% on-year

'All sites are operational and the continued health and wellbeing of the group's employees remains a key priority with operating procedures modified, PPE usage increased and building changes made to adapt to working safely,' it added.

600 Group said it continued to take advantage of government stimulus packages, including loans under the US government Paycheck Protection Program.

'The board has taken action to reduce overheads and deferred all non-critical capital expenditure,' it said.

'Short time working and furloughing of staff has continued along with salary reduction schemes for many employees across the group.'

Debt of $14.5m excluding the government loan assistance remained in line with that at the end of March and the company said it was covenant compliant with adequate banking facilities.

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