Tech company Vianet said trading for the first four months of its financial year had been ahead of revenue and profit forecasts that had been revised due to Covid-19. The company is, through its Smart Zone business, heavily exposed to a UK pub and restaurant sector that has shown recovery signs since lockdowns were eased.
'Whilst pub re-openings remain sensitive to local lockdowns, it is very encouraging that the number of Vianet customers' sites who have resumed operations has risen from 56% to over 80% during the past six weeks, which is higher than we had anticipated,' Vianet said.
'Importantly, the volume of beer sales across pubs which have re-opened compares favourably year-on-year, indicating positive consumer sentiment.'
'However, a number of factors such as limited floor and outside space, city centre office dependent locations, economic concerns and publicans shielding has meant that some pubs still remain closed.'
Vianet said it continued to provide support to customers by billing 30% of normal monthly charges for the about 20% of pubs that still remained closed.
For the around 80% that had re-opened, it was invoicing 70% of normal recurring charges until the end of October, at which time normal contract terms would resume.
'Whilst the Covid-19 situation remains difficult to predict, the group remains in a robust position to navigate the 2021 financial year and resume its earnings growth,' the company said.