Weir up 7% amid ‘robust’ trading, $950m credit deal

Shares of Glasgow-based global mining, oil and engineering giant Weir Group rose 7% on Friday after it announced a “robust” trading update and agreed the refinancing of a $950 million revolving credit facility (RCF) and a £200 million term loan.

“The group has completed the refinancing of its main banking facilities, with a syndicate of 12 global banks,” said Weir.

“These facilities comprise a new US$950m Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) which will mature in June 2023 with the option to extend for up to a further two years and a new £200m Term Loan which will mature in March 2022. 

“The margin on the new facilities is slightly higher than current levels reflecting market conditions but remains highly competitive and significantly lower than the group’s existing long-term bonds. 

“Covenant terms remain unchanged. Both the RCF and Term Loan replace existing facilities which were due to mature on or before September 2021.  

“The group continues to be highly cash generative and its strong liquidity position includes c.£500m of immediately available committed facilities and cash balances, now with an extended maturity profile. 

“In addition, it is approved to access up to £300m as part of the UK Government’s CCFF programme, which remains unutilised, and has a further c.£80m in uncommitted facilities.”

On current trading, Weir said: “Our mining markets have remained robust during Q2 with some disruptions to mining production levels in April and May, although these appear to be easing through June.  

“Minerals has continued to show its resilience throughout the pandemic period. 

“Aftermarket orders in Q2 have been similar to Q1 in absolute terms despite the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.

“Year-on-year comparisons will be impacted by a particularly strong Q2 in 2019 which was an all-time record. 

“Original equipment orders have also continued at Q1 levels in absolute terms, with a number of larger gold project orders offsetting general delays across other commodities. 

“Divisional margins have remained within their normal 17%-20% range supported by cost mitigation actions.

“Demand for ESCO’s core mining GET has also been resilient, although it has seen a greater impact from some customers running down ore stockpiles and reduced activity in North American iron ore. 

“The division’s infrastructure markets, which represent around a third of divisional orders, have been more significantly disrupted as a result of the shutdown in large parts of construction activity in North America and Europe, which have now started to recover gradually. 

“Divisional margins have remained robust supported by delivery of the final acquisition cost synergies and previously announced cost mitigation actions.  

“In Oil & Gas, as expected, we have experienced a significant step-down in North American activity levels in Q2. 

“Cost mitigation actions have been successfully executed and we continue to expect the division to be cash generative for the full year. 

“The group is continuing to explore options to maximise value from the division at the right time.

“As announced on 26 March 2020, the group has withdrawn its full year guidance due to the ongoing uncertainty as a result of Covid-19.  

“The board will reinstate guidance when it has sufficient confidence on the outlook for the rest of the year. 

“We will publish our interim results, for the six months to 30 June 2020, on 29 July 2020.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.