Linen giant Johnson’s H1 revenue falls 31% to £115m

Runcorn-based textile services provider Johnson Service Group (JSG) said on Wednesday its revenue fell about 31% to £114.8 million in the six months to June 30 and it made a loss before tax of £18.6 million compared to a profit of £15.2 million a year earlier.

No interim dividend was declared.

“The final 2019 dividend was withdrawn saving approximately £8.7 million,” said Johnson Service Group.

“Due to the current situation it is not proposed to declare a dividend in respect of the first half of 2020. 

“The board is aware of the importance of dividends to shareholders and will reinstate dividend payments as soon as practicable although, as stated at the time of the placing, the board anticipates that there will be no dividend in respect of 2020.”

Johnson Service Group CEO Peter Egan said: “Our performance during the period reflects the challenging market conditions inflicted on the business by COVID-19 following a strong start to the year.

“The management team have been highly active in addressing the impact, by taking decisive action to ensure the long-term preservation of the business, shoring up the group’s finances and mothballing sites to ensure that JSG is well placed to react quickly as end markets continue to recover. 

“Our new Leeds high volume linen plant is scheduled to open in October and we have identified a new workwear site to replace the Exeter plant destroyed by fire in January 2020, which should open mid-2021.

“Both of these investments demonstrate our long-term commitment to investing for future growth.

“It remains very difficult to predict with any accuracy the timing of a recovery to pre-COVID levels.

“However, with our strong balance sheet, established market position and reputation for quality service, we remain confident in the group’s medium-term growth prospects as the economy and markets that we serve recover.”