Construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall reported that trading and activity has been significantly impacted across all divisions since the first 10 weeks of the year and that it had placed 1,700 employees on furlough. In an update on trading and Covid-19 ahead of its AGM, Morgan Sindell said the chair, non-executive directors, executive directors and senior management team have all taken salary reductions of 20% as from 1 April for a period of three months as part of measures to reduce discretionary costs and improve cash flow. The group said it has accessed the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme through its various operating divisions, with approximately 1,700 employees currently placed on furlough and that it has taken advantage of permissions to defer VAT, PAYE and other tax payments which total around £47m to date. Morgan Sindall said in a previous update, it had reported that the group had continued to perform well in the first 10 weeks of the financial year, but that since then trading and activity have been impacted significantly. In its construction business, around 80% of sites are currently operational, it confirmed, but added these are being impacted by lower levels of productivity. In infrastructure, it has been able to 'maintain a reasonable level of activity', it said, with many of its projects being for larger public sector clients, 75% of sites are now operational. Morgan Sindall reported that in property services, activities on its local authority contracts have been limited to 'emergency' repairs only, reducing revenue by around 80% from its normal operational levels. The total group secured workload as at 31 March 2020 was £7.6bn, level with the year-end position and of this total, the construction secured order book was £3.5bn, down 5% from the year end, with the Regeneration secured order book up 4% at £4.1bn. Chief executive John Morgan said: 'Our strategy remains unchanged, focused on building long-term workstreams in markets that remain attractive. Supported by a strong balance sheet, the actions taken put the Group on the best footing to ensure its continued success.' At 8:22am: (LON:MGNS) Morgan Sindall Group PLC share price was +57p at 1263p
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