By Phillip Cook
Coronavirus and Our Companies
As you will undoubtedly know, the world is currently experiencing a significant increase in the number of cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Our sympathies are with those who have contracted this insidious virus, and we hope that in the shortest time possible this pandemic will pass, and full recoveries will be made by all those affected.
This situation has had an impact on our companies. We must therefore now take the appropriate and necessary action to protect both our guests, employees, and investors. These actions are designed to produce positive longer-term outcomes, but they will, unfortunately, have a detrimental short-term effect on all of us.
We are reducing operational capacity to reflect the significant contraction in guest arrivals that we will now experience. This process has seen us temporarily closing a number of buildings within our network. In addition in compliance with government orders, we have closed restaurants and healthcare shops.
Our expectation is that depending on the length of time that this will last for an extended period, we may be forced to close many, if not all of our retail outlets.
Management and Staff
We have furloughed approximately a hundred of our staff members and we have implemented a 25% leave without pay period for this and next month for many others. We will review this at the end of April if necessary.
Many senior managers have agreed to reduce salaries by 25% for the next 3-months, whilst continuing to work full-time and several 100% for the same period.
We note that as of today there is a significant number of receivables that are likely to remain unpaid as our clients also experience hardships of their own. We understand that there may be nothing that we can do to resolve this, until after the crisis is averted.
Rental Guarantee and Other Obligations
We will from 1st April suspend all the interest payments and repurchases and we will continue to do so until the COVID-19 situation has changed. We plan to pay these suspended payments as quickly as possible following the passing of the COVID-19 period. We will make our best efforts to inform you regularly about the direction in which we see our business going.
We plan to work on a location on our website where you can see your personal account details and the amount of the money that has been paid to you.
We will honor our obligations to you by way of issuing a note each month for the amount of money owed.
As related to any services or charges that are normally paid by you, we will meet these obligations on your behalf.
With respect to the “Cash Back” program, we will pay each month an amount based on 3% per annum at the contractual value. The difference is not lost but deferred until the economic situation has changed. Your monthly statement will reflect the amount paid and the amount to be paid later.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accurately predict the timeframe in which this COVID-19 related situation will end. We have been listening to all official commentary from governments around the world and believe that we will be in a position to reconsider our approach within a few short months.
This situation has caused us a great deal of distress, and although it is beyond our control we will look to do as we have always done over the years which is to conquer all challenges ahead of us.
We have no intention of not paying all obligations to you our valued clients. We have taken decisive measures to protect all.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Group Managing Director