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11 Nov 2020 | 08:55

Informa on track for positive cash flow by January

(Sharecast News) - Informa said on Wednesday that its Covid-19 financing action plan was now complete, providing it with long-term stability and security in relation to its balance sheet, with no debt maturities until 2023, no financial covenants, and available liquidity of more than £1bn. The FTSE 100 business information and events company said the plan's completion came after a series of financing activities over the last nine months in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the firm secured access to a short-term £750m surplus credit facility, before it secured eligibility to access up to £300m via the Bank of England's Covid Corporate Financing Facility in April.

Across April and May, the firm raised £1bn of new equity through a share placing, and in September it issued £640m equivalent in euro bonds with five-year maturities, a 2.125% coupon and no financial covenants.

In October, Informa issued £150m in follow-on sterling bonds to meet ongoing market demand, maturing in 2026 and with no financial covenants, and in November it confirmed the cancellation of its short-term £750m surplus credit facility and £1.1bn US private placement loan notes, removing all financial covenants from its balance sheet.

The board said the completion of the company's financing action plan, combined with its ongoing cost management programme, which was on track to deliver £600m of run-rate savings by the end of 2020, would ensure the group was cash positive from January, even assuming no physical events activity other than shows within mainland China and outdoor events.

"Informa continues to build stability and security through 2021 and beyond, reflecting the combination of continuing strength in digital subscriptions, the progressive re-opening of physical events in mainland China and other parts of Asia, and growth across our virtual events and media brands, alongside our ongoing cost and cash management programmes," said group chief executive officer Stephen Carter.

"Following a nine-month programme of activity, we have now concluded the restructuring, refinancing and rescheduling of our debt.

"Combined with the continued delivery of our Covid-19 action plan, this ensures Informa is on track to deliver positive free cash flow from early 2021, with over £1bn of available liquidity."

Given that Informa's half-year Results were published in late September, the board said it intended to release a pre-close trading update, rather than a November trading update, following the end of the 2020 trading year.

At 0918 GMT, shares in Informa were down 3.54% at 550.6p.
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