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20 Mar 2020 | 08:12

Glencore outlines its coronavirus precautions

(Sharecast News) - Glencore updated the market on its operations on Friday, saying that its "scale and diversity" meant the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus varied by location. The FTSE 100 company said that as a result, its was continually assessing the risks and adapting its plans and actions in consultation with local stakeholders.

It said it had introduced a number of additional precautionary measures across its offices and industrial assets, including asking its staff to remain at home if they felt unwell, and to seek medical advice and to self-quarantine if they had symptoms consistent with those of Covid-19.

The company was also implementing "enhanced" hygiene and cleaning measures, restricting all non-essential travel, introducing flexible working including rotational and remote working "where necessary and possible", and had established a health advisory channel for its people to seek advice and support.

"We continue to closely monitor and respond to events surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic," said chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg.

"Our first priority is the health and wellbeing of all of our people and the broader community."

Glasenberg said the company had formulated its response in partnership with its expert medical advisors, taking into account advice from governments across the countries where it operated, and global bodies such as the World Health Organisation.

"Through our business continuity planning, we aim to minimise disruption so we can continue to source and deliver the products that our customers need."

To date, Glencore said there had been no material disruptions at its operating assets or within its supply chain, with its marketing business delivering annualised EBIT performance within its through the cycle long-term guidance range of between $2.2bn and $3.2bn per annum.

In light of various restrictions being imposed by governments in different countries, the firm said it had seen some impact on certain smaller operations.

Glencore said it was also continuing to review its industrial operations to ensure that they were "appropriately positioned" to support the group's overall performance during the current period of uncertainty.

The company said it had $10bn in available committed undrawn credit facilities and cash at the end of 2019.

"This liquidity has increased since the start of the year due to lower working capital funding requirements, in line with lower commodity prices," the board explained.

"In addition, the significant weakening of our key producer currencies against the US dollar and lower oil prices and interest rates have provided substantial cash offsets to the fall in commodity prices."

It said it had received "strong" support from its banking partners in the annual refinancing of its revolving credit facilities, and expected to announce their completion in the next few weeks.

The shorter-term facility had a one-year extension, exercisable at Glencore's discretion.

Glencore said the revolving credit facility had no financial covenants, rating triggers, material adverse change clauses or external factor clauses.

"We recognise that the situation is evolving rapidly and we will continue to provide updates as appropriate. We thank our employees, contractors, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders for their support during this challenging time."

At 1628 GMT, shares in Glencore were up 1.53% at 119.1p.
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