Smart Metering Systems plc (AIM: "SMS", "the Group"), which installs and manages smart meters and carbon reduction assets ("CaRe(1)") to facilitate effective energy management, is returning the grant received from the UK government pursuant to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the "CJRS").
As previously announced, SMS suspended its smart meter installation activities on 22 March 2020 as a result of the developing Covid-19 situation. Due to significant uncertainties at that time and the material impact of the cessation of activities on the utilisation of a large number of the Group's workforce, SMS elected to furlough some of its staff and apply for a grant under the CJRS. Over this period, SMS continued to supplement the amounts received to ensure furloughed staff received 100% of their salary.
As announced on 1 June 2020, SMS resumed non-essential activities, including installation of smart meters and has emerged from the recent uncertainties with a strong financial position. The Group's net cash position of £48m (excluding the grant) at 31 May 2020 is ahead of previous expectations and SMS continues to forecast underlying profitability for the year to 31 December 2020 to be in line with the Board's earlier expectations.
SMS has therefore taken the decision to return the funds received from the UK Government under the CJRS and has also withdrawn from the scheme forthwith.
SMS will release a further trading update on 30 July 2020.
(1) All carbon reducing assets including energy efficiency systems, metering, lighting, battery storage, distributed generation, EV charging, data and control, etc.
For further information:
Smart Metering Systems plc
Alan Foy, Chief Executive Officer
Dilip Kejriwal, Investor Relations
0141 249 3850
Cenkos Securities plc (Joint Broker and Nomad)
Neil McDonald / Pete Lynch
0131 220 6939 / 020 7397 8900
Investec Bank plc (Joint Broker)
Christopher Baird / Henry Reast
020 7597 5970
RBC Capital Markets (Joint Broker)
Matthew Coakes / Evgeni Jordanov
020 7653 4000
Adrian Duffield / Kay Larsen / Chantal Woolcock
020 7457 2077
Notes to editors
SMS plc (www.sms-plc.com) installs and manages smart meters and carbon reduction assets ("CaRe") to facilitate effective energy management. Established in 1995, SMS provides a full end-to-end service for metering financing, installation, management and maintenance, with a highly skilled workforce and deep engineering expertise.
SMS had 3.73 million meter and data assets under management as of 31 December 2019. SMS's smart meter expertise also enables the Company to provide consultancy services that allow organisations and corporates to enhance long term efficiency and effectiveness in the management of energy.
SMS's energy management and asset installation services also include infrastructure design, installation, consultancy and project management services for new gas, electricity, water and telecoms connections for licensed energy and telecoms suppliers, end consumers and the UK's licensed electricity Distribution Network Owners (DNOs).
SMS employs in excess of 1,200 people across the UK who support the installation and ongoing management of metering assets.
SMS plc is headquartered in Glasgow with 12 locations across the UK.
SMS's shares are listed on AIM.