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Renshaw furloughs half its staff as Covid-19 hits sales

first_imgRenshaw and Brighter Foods owner Real Good Food (RGF) has rationalised ranges and furloughed staff as the Covid-19 outbreak impacts demand for its products.Announcing its full-year trading to 31 March, the company reported revenue had been “broadly in line with the board’s expectations”, rising 9% to £67m, but had been hit in March by the effects of coronavirus.Adjusted EBITDA rose 178% to £5.4m, thanks partly to further cuts in head office costs.Brighter Foods’ revenues were up year on year by 67%, with the business securing a new contract with a global customer, which started in January, and benefiting from continued organic growth with existing customers.However, Renshaw’s cake decorations market has come under pressure, reported RGF, with the sugar paste market down 14.7% year on year [Kantar to December 19] and marzipan down 2.1%.RGF said Renshaw was well-placed to tap growth in the frostings market following recent investment.The company reported that Covid-19 was expected to have an impact on sales in at least the first quarter of the new financial year. In terms of the sectors the business serves, it reported that:The manufacturing sector was set to maintain or grow salesThe wholesale sector had declined as the restaurant and leisure sectors closed premisesRetailers were focused on stocking ‘essential’ products and had rationalised some niche products and colours.RGF is planning production in consultation with its customers to rationalise product ranges.Demand for snack bars, Brighter Foods’ key market, has fallen as social distancing guidance impacts the food-on-the-go and forecourt sectors. The business has also been hit by challenges in the nutrition and diet sector.Within Renshaw, the business has furloughed around 140 staff across all functions for an initial period of three weeks under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.For remaining staff, RGF is following all government guidelines, with most back-office staff now working from home and risk assessments completed in terms of social distancing at manufacturing sites.RGF said it had a robust crisis management plan and that, when the pandemic first appeared, it reviewed its suppliers in China and sourced alternatives in Europe.“We are grateful to our staff and stakeholders as we work together through this challenging period,” said non-executive chairman Mike Holt.“The budgets we were signing off just a short time ago are now being updated to include all the measures we are taking to ensure that the group has a sustainable business going forward. We believe the food industry is resilient and that Real Good Food is well placed within the segments we serve and given the quality of our products and operations.”last_img read more

Brandon Harding crowned Carib Soca Monarch 2018

first_imgLindener Brandon Harding was, in the wee hours of Sunday, crowned Carib Soca Monarch 2018 after outshining his nine other finalists at Durban Park, Georgetown.Brandon Harding during his performanceThe young man, who now resides in St. Lucia with his family, returned to Guyana to enter into the Carib Soca Monarch, which was on pause for two years. The return of the monarch saw new talent being exposed, thus giving the artistes a chance to showcase same to the world.Winning the monarch was the expectation of the young Harding who, before the commencement of the competition, was full of confidence and energy. As the first performer, he set the bar for the others to follow and catch up, but this was indeed a huge task.His performance was electrifying, as he set the stage on fire and, more so, had the crowd on his side. Singing his tune “Alive” decked in all white did the job for the young musician.His stage presentation and lyrics were enough to get the nod from the judges as the best of the best. At one time, his “countrywoman” Diana Chapman seemed as though she was going to take the lead after her performance, and although she performed well, she just could not match up Harding’s lively performance.The top four of the Carib Soca Monarch 2018 competitionEventually, the judges thought she was the third best in the competition. However, coming in second was seasoned campaigner Melissa Vanilla Roberts. She rocked the stage and had a great performance; but, in the end, the judges thought she was a few points short of Harding.Coming in fourth was another Lindener, Lil Colwyn. Some thought he should not have placed in the final four, but the judges thought otherwise.Apart from the top four performers, some others did well and some not so well. Jonathan “Lil Red” King, who has been competing in the competition for quite some time, failed to impress the crowd and ultimately the judges during his performance. His performance of “Paint, water and powder” needed some more energy to get the crowd hyped and moving.Another performer, “Fluffy,” with “Bam Bam,” had a good start but failed to carry through with the same vibes and energy to the end.In addition, Roger Hinds, who performed “Money,” had a good stage entrance with some hiccups, but after a few minutes into his performance, he started to bash the former soca monarchs, Jumo Primo and Kwasi Ace Edmondson.However, at intermission, Edmondson replied to Hinds with a lyrical tongue-licking.All in all, it was a good night, even with a few disappointments. First, the competition, which was billed to commence at 20:00h, never got underway until after 23:00h.At 22:30h, the host of the event, Tameka Henry, appeared on stage; and after a few minutes of rambling, she introduced the members of the Heatwaves Band, who, without a doubt, set the tone for the night with some high quality performances from Calvin Burnette and Mark Batson.The Heatwaves dancers were also quite impressive with some energetic dance routines. At the end of the night, the newly crowned Carib Soca Monarch walked away with $1.5 million in cash, the title, bragging rights, and a chance to represent Guyana at the international soca monarch competition in Trinidad and Tobago in February, 2019.last_img read more