City briefs: Jaywing; SIG; and more

Sheffield-headquartered marketing agency Jaywing has confirmed more big changes to its senior management team, including the appointment of a new CEO.

Andrew Fryatt has been hired for this role with immediate effect. He will report directly to the Board of the company and will join the Board as soon as practicable.

Ian Robinson’s role as chairman will remain in a non-executive capacity.

Fryatt is an experienced CEO and managing director with significant experience in strategic planning with Boards and leading management teams in technology-based businesses.

Most recently he managed Zen Internet’s largest division and previous roles include managing director of Daisy Retail, the largest sales channel of Daisy Group and chief executive officer of Ideal Shopping Direct.

Robinson said: “The Board is pleased to welcome someone of Andrew’s experience to the company, and we look forward to working with him as he begins the leadership role for the organisation.”

The company has today also confirmed that Rob Shaw has stepped down as a director and chief executive officer with immediate effect. 

Robinson said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Rob for his contribution to the board and company over the last six years. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Following the March 24 announcement that Mike Sprot had stepped down as director and chief financial officer, the search for a new CFO will begin under the direction of Fryatt.

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Listed specialist building materials supplier, SIG, has posted an operating loss of  about £9m for the first two slower trading months of 2020 with like-for-like sales down by around 11%. 

It says trading in the early part of the current year saw a continuation of the challenging trends seen in the last quarter of 2019.

SIG’s latest update adds: “Whilst the Group has not experienced any significant sales impact from COVID-19 to date in the UK, trading has continued to be subdued.

“In mainland Europe, our first region to experience the effects of government restrictions on movement, the vast majority of our trading sites remain open. Trading has generally held up, though may face further pressure as the situation develops.

The Board and Executive leadership team have identified a number of measures to reduce cash outflow.

“These include a range of operational initiatives across the Group, such as pausing programmes that require significant cash investment and/or do not provide near-term business benefits.

In the interest of preserving the Group’s liquidity position, the Board has also taken the decision not to declare a full year dividend and will not consider any return to shareholders of the proceeds of recent disposals.”

SIG, which is headquartered in Sheffield, notes it has cash resources of c.£135m and is talking to its lending group in order to release additional liquidity as required.

The Group will also seek to make use of tax relief and other government measures as they become available.

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Consumer credit provider Non-Standard Finance (NSF) says the steps it is taking to mitigate the virus’s impact will be difficult in the short-term, but will ensure it can take full advantage of a future recovery.

NSF, which is based in Leeds, says it has significantly cut its lending volumes across all three of its divisions.  

But it adds it is continuing to offer credit, subject to detailed assessment of affordability, where there is an “urgent need” or where its detailed knowledge of an existing customer provides the necessary assurances.

And NSF says it is putting in place arrangements to offer credit to eligible “key workers”.

The listed firm’s update states: “This reduction in overall lending volume will mean we can shift resources to managing collections and ensure that due forbearance is offered to any of our customers that may find themselves in financial difficulty during this difficult time. 

“All collections in branch-based lending and guarantor loans are already remote and our staff are continuing to service our customers over the phone and online.

“In home credit, while our agents are no longer calling at customers’ homes, they have been encouraging customers to make use of a variety of remote collections options that are now available both online and over the phone so we can continue to make collections as planned.

“The Board is focused on conserving cash within the Group. Given the pandemic and the uncertain macroeconomic outlook it has determined that it will not recommend or pay a final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 December 2019.”

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