AUTO TRADER today announced a temporary relief package over its fees in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic – as it also warned investors that it faced making a loss of up to £7m next month.
In an unscheduled update issued via the London Stock Exchange at 7am, it noted that the automotive retailing market was ‘facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty’ because of coronavirus and that the government was urging companies ‘to rally round to help the collective national effort’.
As a result, it is getting in touch with customers to tell them that they won’t be charged for their advertising packages throughout April. In addition, it will be letting them defer paying for their March advertising by 30 days.
It said its full-year results for the financial year to March 31, 2020 will be broadly in line with market expectations but because of current market conditions it can’t give sensible guidance for the 2020-21 financial year. However, it added that its temporary action over advertising would mean an operating loss for April 2020 of between £6m and £7m.
Chief executive Nathan Coe, pictured, said: ‘These are unprecedented times so I believe that it is vital that we pull together and support our people, our customers and our industry.
‘We are committed to supporting our retailer customers throughout this uncertain time. It is equally important that we continue to prioritise the well-being and safety of our people, and we are taking all necessary action to ensure that they are receiving all the advice and support that they need.’
Auto Trader will announce its full-year results for the 2019-20 financial year on June 4.