Board takes action

Pay cut for Record and Express staff as virus hits revenue

Record and Express

Pay cut for Record staff

Daily Record and Express publisher Reach has announced a 10% pay cut for all employees while the directors and most senior management and editorial staff will take a 20% hit to their salaries.

All company bonus schemes for 2020 have been suspended and the board retains its discretion over the Long Term Incentive Plan. 

The company, which also publishes a series of local papers across the UK, said no employee will fall below the living wage.

A fifth of the workforce will be furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Protection Scheme in the UK. 

The company has requested discussions around a deferment of current contributions to all the group pension funds and the board has decided it will no longer propose a final dividend for the financial year ending 2019. 

In an update, Reach said: “There continues to be uncertainty around the severity and length of the crisis and the resulting impact on Reach in terms of advertising, print circulation and events.  As a result Reach has suspended guidance for the financial year 2020 and beyond.” 

It came into the year with a robust balance sheet position and confirms that it continues to have adequate liquidity. It has a new four-year revolving banking facilities of £65m are in place (with a 1.75x EBITDA covenant).

The AGM is scheduled for 7 May and a further announcement will be made in due course to detail arrangements.

These are very challenging times and I would like to thank all our colleagues

– Jim Mullen, Reach

The board said it “believes these measures represent the most appropriate and responsible course of action in the light of the ongoing uncertainty around the length and impact of the current unprecedented crisis. 

“All of our key national and regional publications will continue to operate at this vital time despite these measures and we have sought to spread the burden of these actions across all stakeholder groups.  We continue to monitor the impact of this crisis on the group, recognising that the situation is fast evolving.”

Commenting on today’s announcement Jim Mullen, CEO of Reach, said: “These are very challenging times and I would like to thank all our colleagues at Reach for their support and commitment.

“It remains difficult to predict the duration and long term impact of the crisis on our sector so it is key we take proactive measures now on cost to protect jobs and the Reach business for the long term.”

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