Kent brewer pub group Shepherd Neame vows it will not only survive the lockdown but come back in position of strength.
Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “This has been the most challenging period any of us in the hospitality industry have ever faced.
“I am incredibly proud of how everyone across the business has reacted, and the ingenuity and team spirit shown by our licensees and team members during this time has been inspiring.”
However, he warned the second lockdown would be “extremely disruptive and adversely impact performance” for the business, with uncertainty over the Christmas trading period.
Despite the challenges of a new lockdown, Shepherd Name says its business as “resilient and well positioned for growth” once normal trading conditions resume.
Neame said: “We have worked hard to drive positive cash flow in the new financial year and have sufficient liquidity for the foreseeable future. We welcome the ongoing support from the Chancellor, but the sector faces a very tough winter as we return to lockdown with fresh uncertainties.
“Shepherd Neame has weathered many crises in its long history and I am determined that we emerge from this crisis in a position of strength, ready to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.’’
Neame was speaking as Shepherd Neame announced it has cut 10 per cent of its workforce as it prepared for the month-long lockdown.
Neame said the pubco will be requesting more than 90 per cent of its workforce step down from their current roles on a temporary basis.
“This has been the most challenging period any of us in the hospitality industry have ever faced. (However) our great brewery team will continue working to produce beer in a Covid-secure environment.”
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