INTERCHANGE & COVID-19
The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a profound effect on all travel related businesses. In particular, with border closures, airport business has greatly reduced and passenger numbers have in many cases been in low single digits as a percentage of 2019 levels.
In March 2020 Interchange acted on the basis that the slump would be both prolonged and severe. This resulted in an immediate and substantial reduction in staff numbers, which was a personal and difficult process for the Group’s Executive Team as well as all those directly impacted. It was managed with the greatest regard to achieving the best mutual outcome for all concerned.
- A collaborative approach was taken with landlords to adjust rents to the new business trading conditions.
- Approximately half of the Group’s branches, including its operations in the US, Spain, the Netherlands and Slovakia, were closed.
- Neither its French airport operation, nor its Italian retail business, have traded for a year.
- New terms and contract extensions were achieved with key airport contracts in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Group’s money transfer business has remained relatively robust throughout the Pandemic. Despite that, large trading losses have resulted, notwithstanding a progressive 80% decline in costs. However, the Group’s strong cash position with no net debt, and its immediate recognition of the situation, has placed it in a position to emerge successfully into a new trading environment.