Given the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19 and current market conditions, Capco continues to assess the impact on its business, respond to the latest guidelines issued by relevant authorities and adapt its activities accordingly. The priority during this period of uncertainty is the health and safety of our people, customers and visitors.
The majority of retail and F&B units on the Covent Garden estate are closed temporarily and whilst Government-related support measures will be helpful for many occupiers, Capco expects disruption to income during the course of this year. As a long term investor in London, Capco will work to assist its customers with bespoke solutions on a case by case basis through this unprecedented period.
This will involve moving from quarterly rental payments in advance to alternative arrangements and the deferral of rental payments in certain cases, particularly for smaller and independent operators in order to ease short-term cash flow issues and to reopen successfully once the current restrictions are lifted. It is too early at this stage to assess the full impact on rental income and property valuations.
Capco has a strong balance sheet with access to substantial liquidity and significant headroom against debt covenants (both loan to value and interest cover). Total Group cash is currently approximately £250 million with a further £120 million to be received from the Earls Court sale and in addition, Capco has access to over £700 million of committed undrawn facilities. Further details are set out in the appendix to this announcement.
The Company is focused on conserving cash during this period of highly uncertain market conditions. As part of this, the Board has decided to temporarily suspend the share buyback programme.
The Company will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and provide further updates as appropriate.